CITB to launch offsite construction courses

The CITB has revealed plans to develop new offsite manufacturing courses.

The training body is looking to work with the industry to devise new training courses and qualifications linked to the CITB grant that will help upskill the next generation of apprentices.

The announcement comes as a new report reveals how the use of offsite methods is set to soar across the industry.

Faster, Smarter, More Efficient: Building Skills for Offsite Construction shows that 42% of construction industry employers with more than 100 staff expect to use offsite methods in five years’ time.

Of those, 100% said they expected the use of precast concrete panels to increase and 91% anticipated the use of precast concrete frame to rise.

Nearly 50% of construction industry clients also expect the use of offsite construction to increase over the next five years.

Offsite construction currently accounts for just 10% of industry output and the CITB has identified this huge training gap.

Steve Radley, director of policy at CITB, said: “Successful offsite management hinges on the effective integration of both onsite and offsite functions – and this requires a comprehensive understanding of both aspects.

“Our next steps will focus on the delivery of the required employer training, knowledge and soft skills.

“We will also work with other stakeholders – such as in design and manufacturing – to apply existing training in a construction context.”

The CITB report is essentially a response to the recommendations set out in Mark Farmer’s report, Modernise or Die, which called for a drive towards offsite prefabrication and an overhaul of the CITB to produce a workforce capable of adapting.

Speaking about the new CITB report, Farmer said: “This report comes at a crucial time for the construction industry. The urgency for modernisation has never been greater, set against an insidious backdrop of an ageing workforce and increasing concerns about the impact of Brexit.

“Any strategic shift towards premanufacturing and offsite construction creates an immediate requirement to define our future skills needs through collaboration between industry, educators, training providers and government.

“I welcome this report from the CITB and hope it adds to the current growing momentum for industry change.”

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