The ECITB has today written to employers and training providers outlining new measures it is developing to help engineering construction employers through the Covid-19 crisis and emerge stronger.
With large sections of the engineering construction industry tackling wide-ranging disruption and financial hardship, the impact on workforce development and training is inevitable. In response, the ECITB is developing a wide-ranging programme of measures and funding interventions to support employers and deliver vital training for both future and current workforces.
These measures announced today follow a series of new policies and guidance issued by the ECITB in recent weeks to support employers, workers and training providers, including immediate support for ITEC providers, direct procurement of e-learning and extending the expiry date of CCNSG safety cards.
The new support measures will focus on three key areas:
- Back to Work Support. The first package of initiatives is aimed at getting the workforce back into work. We recognise that there might be a gap between government support ending – in particular furlough arrangements – and work picking up/new projects coming on stream. In response, we are developing a scheme to help employers retain current and recently qualified graduates and apprentices through this period, in order to ensure that fresh talent is not lost.
- Filling the New Entrant Gap. The second package focusses on new entrants. We are likely to see considerable drop off in the recruitment of new entrants, particularly apprenticeships, until companies are confident of a pick-up in work. These measures aim to maintain an inflow of skilled and motivated young people into the industry who can be taken on by employers as demand increases.
- Accelerating Transition: The third package of measures is aimed at helping industry prepare the workforce for the major challenges and opportunities that lie ahead post-crisis – namely delivering net zero and harnessing Industry 4.0. Our support will focus on transferrable skills that allow workers to move between sectors and providing training for the energy transition. These measures will also create a more resilient skills infrastructure by accelerating investment in distance and remote learning, harnessing the momentum generated in this crisis towards different ways of working.
The ECITB is acutely aware that these measures must be timely, targeted and enable industry to plan. They are being worked up at pace, with support from Board members and other industry representatives, and the full package, including funding and eligibility, will be announced – subject to Board approval – on Tuesday 5th May.
Chris Claydon, ECITB Chief Executive, said: “The focus of the Board and the organisation as a whole is now to develop this package of initiatives and funding interventions to help industry with both the short term problems it will face once restrictions are lifted and longer term challenges.
“Our goal is to put in place these measures as soon as possible to help industry weather the impact of Covid-19 and get back on its feet. As we have seen, the disruption to the economy is likely to be prolonged and profound and the crisis has strengthened our resolve to work harder and faster to help the industry retain and develop the skills its needs.
“Before the crisis hit, we showed the ECITB has the confidence and support of the industry with our levy consensus result. I would like to assure you at this critical time now that the whole organisation is focused on delivery when the industry needs us most.”
For the latest information on the ECITB’s guidance and response to the Covid-19 crisis visit: https://www.ecitb.org.uk/covid-19-guidance-from-the-ecitb/