The ECITB has today published an update to its Leading Industry Learning strategy following a review by the Board in light of the events of 2020.
The Year 1 update sets out how the ECITB has supported engineering construction companies through the pandemic, and what we will do over the next two years to help retain essential skills in industry, maintain the pipeline of new entrants and support the transition to Net Zero.
Since the publication of the strategy, Covid-19 has created significant upheaval across large parts of industry. The oil and gas sector, which has simultaneously experienced a collapse in oil prices, is forecast to lose 30,000 workers. Training has been impacted and we have seen a 40% decline in the number of new apprentices and a 30% decline in new graduates in 2020.
Lockdown has also accelerated the shift towards remote operations – both for industry and training providers. Training delivery and assessment is changing, enabled by digital technologies, and this trend will only grow.
The strategy update sets out how the ECITB is responding to these challenges and trends, as well as how we will help industry harness new opportunities on the horizon. The ECI is already playing and will continue to play a central role in designing, project managing and delivering industrial decarbonisation and Energy Transition projects and it is vital we equip the workforce with the appropriate training and skills.
Lynda Armstrong, Chair of the ECITB, said: “2020 was one of the most challenging years of our working lives. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our industry, the effects of which are likely to last for some time.
“Against this backdrop, the Board has reviewed the strategy to ensure it remains fit for purpose. We are confident that our plans remain valid and on track, while at the same time we have identified new areas of focus – namely, accelerating our plans to support remote training and assessment and preparing the workforce for net zero.
“As we begin 2021 with a further period of lockdown, the ECITB will again support employers and learners through training and development activities. With the vaccination programme now up and running, and the end of the crisis in sight, it is more important than ever the industry has the skilled workforce it needs to deliver projects and drive the economic recovery.”
The current three-year strategy was developed in close consultation with employers, training providers and governments in Westminster and the devolved nations and was backed by industry at the last levy consultation in 2019.
The strategy update also sets out steps we will take in 2021 to improve how we work and support our customers, as identified in the 2020 Customer Satisfaction and Stakeholder Survey conducted by IFF Research.