The popularity of Norfolk as a property development hub was endorsed by the Construction Industry Training Board's (CITB) I'm Backing Apprenticeships campaign launch two years’ ago last month, but has anything much really moved on in that time? Leaving aside the current furore surrounding CITB (more of that later) this is a very serious issue which strikes at the heart of the industry’s success going forward, particularly post Brexit. Do students prefer to pursue apprenticeships and feel they can ‘learn as they earn’ or is university still the preferred route to education and career? The majority of parents (72%) believed so at the time. But with student debts on the rise and, to some extent, a devaluation in the quality of some Degrees available, it might be time to think again. With shortages predicted in the construction industry and a new government push on the horizon to stimulate house building, a career in construction could now be a very good bet indeed. The CITB - the industry’s main training board - worked to improve and increase the number of construction apprenticeships through a range of initiatives including building a picture of supply and demand for skills in construction. The scheme is backed by national housebuilders and property developers. With the majority of parents saying that they would still prefer their children to go to University rather than take up a career in construction, Devise Construction feels it is important to continue to support encouraging young people to look at a career in this industry which is a barometer of the economy.
Devise Construction works closely with such major property developers to support industry initiatives such as the apprenticeship scheme. If you are a property developer currently working with the CITB or would like to know more about how to get involved then please contact our CEO, Ben James, about partnering with Devise Construction, one of the most forward thinking and innovative construction companies operating in the Norfolk region.
The CITB announced a raft of changes covering the next three years, including a streamlining of the workforce, outsourcing some operations and moving from Bircham Newton to a new base in Peterborough.
The training body’s Vision 2020: The Future CITB strategy marked its exit from direct delivery of training to becoming a “commissioner” of training delivery and outcomes.
The majority of its back office operations and customer service will be handed to private firms.
Under the plans, the CITB aims to outsource functions such as finance, procurement, HR and marketing, as well as its customer services functions. The organisation currently employs around 200 people in these areas. This plan would see the training facilities at Bircham Newton sold to private training bodies, while other parts of the 16 ha site could be sold to developers. The construction industry itself faces shortfalls in skilled tradespeople as well as shortages of trained people in back office functions. Major changes in training provision are inevitable if the industry is to grow in line with anticipated demand driven in no small part by the shortage of affordable housing.