The £1.2m scheme offers direct grants to registered employers for support in a wide range of training and qualifications for employees working in Northern Ireland.
The local construction industry is growing and the Belfast skyline is awash with cranes building hotels, offices and accommodation and the planned £400m investment from Government for infrastructure will give a well needed boost to the sector.
It is important for the industry to train to be more effective and efficient in work practices and to ensure everyone is working safely. The industry needs to attract more young people as factors such as skills shortages and an aging workforce are restricting the industry’s ability to deliver projects.
With this in mind CITB NI has enhanced apprenticeship grants available to CITB NI registered employers meaning that an employer can gain up to £4000[i] during the 3 year cycle of training an apprentice plus up to an additional £1500 from the Department for the Economy for employers who employ apprentices from the start of their apprenticeship through to completion of NVQ Level 2 and 3.
Barry Neilson, Chief Executive, CITB NI said, “We need to work with industry at all levels to make sure we support it in the right way to develop skills for its continuing success. Our Grant scheme is widely recognised and valued within the industry and we want to continue to provide financial support for employers of all sizes towards the training and qualification of their workforce.
“We have a major focus on apprentices and want to help employers realise the importance of apprenticeships, their value and to make sure they know how to go about employing a young person in an apprenticeship role. We have ring fenced £100k for 100 new apprentices in the next training year. We want to encourage employers to make a difference by retaining their apprentices beyond level 2 and making them an overall part of their workforce. Apprenticeships help nurture and develop a skill and that is why we have boosted the grants funding to help improve the apprenticeship uptake within our sector.”
To ensure the whole industry benefits from the £1.2m grant funding an additional two Tiers of grant categories have been established.
Tier 2 is directed at industry bodies and federations who have identified training requirements for their sector and wish to apply for funding to help them facilitate delivery of the training.
Tier 3 is directed at addressing training needs identified by CITB NI through their own research and is led and delivered by CITB NI in partnership with industry bodies and federations.
Tiers 2 and 3 can occur at any time throughout the training year.