FPDC and CITB-ConstructionSkills have teamed up to raise standards in drylining by making available a grant that will support training of currently unqualified, experienced, employed construction workers to NVQ Level 2, helping to increase productivity and meet the industry’s skills challenge.

The development and introduction of a specialist upskilling programme (SUP)is a joint initiative between FPDC and CITB-ConstructionSkills that will provide employers, committing to training their workforce, with access to a grant  of up to £3,525 per operative, whether directly employed or a labour-only subcontractor.

Steve Halcrow, FPDC’s interim director,said: “It is vital that employers and their staff continue to train through these challenging economic times and this is particularly important for the construction sector. Around 80 per cent of the 2020 workforce are already in employment. If we are to be a competitive sector, we must enhance the skills of our people at all levels. The availability of SUP grants for drylining will help support the upskilling of those  working in this sector, thereby ensuring we have a better skilled workforce able to drive this industry and oureconomy forward.”

Stuart Littlefair, CITB-ConstructionSkills, said: “It is essential that we identify and address the skills and training needs of the workforce necessary for the long term future of the sector. Approximately 10,000 people  currently working in the sector are not qualified to the appropriate standard and this initiative will help address  the skills levels required for the industry now and in the future.”

SUPs have already been developed in other sectors and delivered successfully. FPDC is now leading a move to provide a similar programme for its members.

The programmes will ensure competent contractors are best placed to meet best practice guidelines. The SUP will involve some off-site training, followed by on-site NVQ assessment. The courses will cover industry regulations and codes of practice, as well as bespoke practical training on installation methods, materials, equipment and the environment, all aligning to the National Occupational Standards.