The ECITB Skills and Training Charter was created in 2008 as a direct result of industry concerns around skills shortages, in particular the need for more apprentices to counteract the effects of an ageing workforce; at the time only 7% of workforce were apprentices and managerial and policy decisions were made by the ECITB Regional Employer Forums.
The ECITB created a working group to develop the Skills Charter concept and the then MSP, Marilyn Livingston (member of the Training and Development of Skills cross party group), assisted with advice. She enabled the launch of the Charter in the Scottish Parliament, attended by Tony Featherstone and Blair Barclay together with the Scottish First Minister at the time, Alec Salmond.
The Charter was subsequently adopted throughout the UK, with all stakeholders (clients, contracts, National Joint Council and Trade Unions) becoming signatories to it. “The birth of the Charter was highly significant. It demonstrated a collective commitment from all stakeholders. It showed that we had agreed there was a problem and had also agreed how we addressed it. It was symbolic as well as real.” John Mellon (past Regional Chair ECITB Scottish Forum)
The Charter needs to be kept alive and current; it is a true collaborative enterprise which includes a commitment to skills and training across the industry supply chain.
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