Construction Industry Training Board NI has achieved a milestone through its Apprenticeship Grant scheme. Since it launched in 2017, the scheme has helped to recruit and support 1000 apprentices into the NI construction industry.
When the scheme launched, its aim was to encourage 100 new apprentices into the local construction industry to meet a demand and to address the skills shortages in traditional trades such as bricklayers, joiners and roofers. Now 1000 apprentices have benefited from the scheme.
The scheme is designed to help support young people in training roles to help bridge the skills shortage and address the ageing workforce and help encourage construction employers to support them.
CITB NI boosted the apprenticeship grants available to CITB NI registered employers, providing up to £6500 for a fully employed apprentice over a 3 year period. There is also a £1500 grant available from the Department for the Economy for employers who employ an apprentice from start to completion of NVQ Level 2 and 3. CITB NI will continue, through their grant scheme, to support apprentices through this boosted funding stream as well as encouraging employers to train and upskill and claim grants.
Barry Neilson OBE, Chief Executive CITB NI, said: “CITB NI is delighted to reach this fantastic milestone. The construction industry needs apprentices to help the industry develop and grow. Offering young people apprenticeships gives businesses the chance to play an active role in moulding their future workforce and creating the future skills that they need to help their businesses develop. We want employers to make a difference and that is why we have boosted the grants funding to help improve the apprenticeship uptake within our sector. Concerns over bureaucratic systems, paperwork, recruitment and retention all create barriers for employers taking on an apprentice. As well as supporting employers in grants available we are also helping to break down the barriers to show that hiring an apprentice is a simple process and there are many benefits to getting involved.”
Matthew Graham CITB NI’s 1000 apprentice and apprentice joiner from Rahoran Ltd in Fivemiletown, commented: “The CITB NI apprenticehsip grant has been a huge help in my role as joinery apprentice for Rahoran Ltd and completing my NVQ Level 3 apprenticeship in joinery full time at college one day per week. Working as an apprentice you need an eye for detail and a passion for your line of work, be prepared to listen to advice and feedback on your projects and get all the hands on experience you can. It is a great industry to join, lots of variety and pride in seeing a project completed.”
Heather Kirkpatrick director of Rahoran Ltd added: “On behalf of Rahoran we are delighted to be part of CITB NI 1000 apprenticeship milestone. The grant scheme has been a huge benefit to our business. We are extremely proud of Matthew and how he has developed his skills over the past few years. He can be relied upon to adapt and perform well in any environment, a true team player and asset to the company.”
For further information about the scheme visit https://www.citbni.org.uk/apprenticeships.aspx or follow CITB NI on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.