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ConstructionSkills secures £133m deal

ConstructionSkills, the sector skills council for the construction industry, has today agreed a £133 million, three-year skills delivery plan with the DIUS and the LSC to help beat major skills shortages in the UK construction industry.

The new deal, signed with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, the Learning and Skills Council and ConstructionSkills, is designed to help to deliver more skilled and qualified workers into a sector requiring over half a million new entrants in the next five years.

ConstructionSkills said it will use the funding to support the priorities set out in the industry’s Sector Skills Agreement. These include meeting challenging targets for training new entrants and qualifying existing workers.

ConstructionSkills hopes that one of the outcomes of the investment will include 6,500 apprenticeship starts and over 2,000 specialist apprenticeship starts.

It will also support a proposal for a Construction Bursary Scheme, providing bursaries of up to £1,200 to allow typical diverse apprenticeship candidates to work on site for up to 12 weeks prior to commencing employment.

It is anticipated that 500 people annually will enter apprenticeships via this route over the three-year period.

The agreement follows skills secretary John Denham's recently announced consultation on a new right to o train for employees, alongside a renewed commitment to ensure the skills system delivers appropriately trained people for industries employing the workforce of the future.

The Government is expected to announce further partnerships with Sector Skills Councils – prioritising those sectors in which increased investment in skills is most needed to shape a modern, competitive economy.

Investment in Train to Gain will also rise to over £1 billion by 2010-11, supporting over 800,000 learners to improve their skills and gain new qualifications, the Government said.