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CITB eyes alternative placements for former Carillion apprentices

Organisation hopes next week to begin placing some individuals that commenced training under failed construction group in new roles, but warns of need for further employer support

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) hopes to begin placing apprentices that were undergoing training with Carillion into new roles over the next week following the collapse of the construction and services giant.

Earlier this week, CITB issued a warning over the potential impact Carillion’s collapse could have on skills retention in the industry at a time of mounting concern about the challenges in recruiting a next generation of skilled construction and building service workers required for industries such as HVAC. 

Employers within construction, especially in homebuilding, are now being asked by the training board to take on the company’s former apprentices where possible as a sign of solidarity and to ensure expertise is not lost as the industry tries to adapt to life after Carillion.

CITB says that it has partnered with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to ensure funding is in place to support some 1,400 people around the country that were involved in Carillion’s training programmes. The programmes were undertaken at numerous training centres in areas such as Birmingham, Sunderland, Sittingbourne and Glasgow.

CITB said it has sought to contact the 1400 apprentices from the company, which are mostly trained in joinery, carpentry and bricklaying, to take part in events across the UK that include face-to-face sessions to ascertain their capabilities and learning needs. 

Although hundreds of individuals have taken part in the sessions this week, the training board said “many more need to be contacted” to ensure sufficient support is in place.

CITB has set up a hotline open to both former Carillion apprentices and construction employers that may be able to assist with placements. The hotline be contacted by phone on 0344 994 4010. The same support team can be e-mailed at carillion.apprenticeshipsupport@citb.co.uk. 

Sarah Beale, the CITB’s chief executive, said the aim was to try and restart training for apprentices impacted by the company’s liquidation.

She said, “Our industry needs the skills these young people are developing and we want to help them find new employers and get their qualifications.”

“Our industry, which has consistently reported skill shortages and difficulties in attracting apprentices, now needs to step up and support these young people who have so much to offer. There is certainly no shortage of work in construction, with housebuilding and infrastructure particularly strong, so these young people can have great careers despite this setback.

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