STA receives funding boost for skills training

Published:  20 November, 2013

With reports of a skills shortage in construction, the Structural Timber Association (STA) has secured a six-figure funding package to support its work in boosting training and skills.

Working in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the STA is providing training for timber erectors and has recently had its Timber Frame Competency Award Scheme for Erectors aligned to the Construction Skills Card Scheme (CSCS) scheme, increasing and recognising skills within construction.

Available to workers employed in the construction of timber buildings, the CSCS scheme, which launched on 1 October 2013, offers recognition of a range of skills. With gold, silver and bronze levels, the programme is delivered via a network of partners and approved colleges throughout the UK.

The CSCS scheme is closely aligned to a two-year Management & Supervisory mentoring scheme and the series of Erector Workshops, which have been rolled out by the STA throughout 2012 and 2013. Following the success of this programme, a continuation of the mentoring programme, together with a further 15 workshops, are planned for 2014. These will be supported by CITB funding and will see over 150 construction companies and 300 individuals taking part throughout the UK. The programme focuses on improving erector members’ current knowledge in a wide range of areas, from leadership, strategy and management of employees, to business planning, marketing and sales. It has been designed to share best practice amongst its participants, and works as a mentoring system to its members.

STA’s chief executive Andrew Carpenter commented: “We know timber construction is the way forward for our industry in terms of sustainability, availability of product and speed of build. It is essential, therefore, that we ensure the skill set of our constructors is of the highest quality to support the increasing use of timber products within construction.

“The STA is proud to be working with the CITB to ensure the range of skills within the industry is as high as possible through our workshops and the CSCS cards. This is only one of many benefits of being an STA member and we urge businesses throughout the UK to engage with us in building their skills and being part of the long awaited upturn.”

One business which has benefited from the training through 2013 is Pury Construction. Vicki Wootton, projects manager, said: “Being part of the workshops has been invaluable to our business and we have been awarded ISO 9001 as a result, which will facilitate growth in our business going forward.”

Those who are interested in signing up to the workshops should contact Andrew Carpenter at andrew.carpenter@structuraltimber.co.uk, and Diane Wood for the CITB scheme at diane.wood@citb.co.uk.

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