Nottingham-based Focus Consultants has been appointed by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for the construction industry, to evaluate a suite of grant-funded projects worth nearly £3.5 million.
There is a recognised shortfall in trained vocational qualification assessors within the construction sector and the industry is facing significant skills gaps and shortages. Grant funding has been awarded by the CITB to thirteen projects across England, Scotland and Wales that address these issues, and which are working to develop the training infrastructure within their sector.
Projects that have been funded include the setting up of vocational qualification assessment centres and investment in the upskilling of assessors across various sectors including; scaffolding, asbestos removal, plastering, brickwork and modular and portable buildings.
Focus Consultants has been appointed for a three-year evaluation period, allowing the company to follow these projects through their lifetime, understanding how they are meeting and responding to the needs of the industry, speaking to those who are benefitting, and capturing the impacts that the investment has on the productivity of the sector.
Heather Frecklington, Partner at Focus Consultants, said: “We are delighted to be working with CITB on this long-term evaluation. The projects cover a diverse range of construction sectors and wide geographical area, making it a really interesting evaluation for the company to undertake, utilising our construction industry knowledge with our evaluation and research expertise.”
Dr Rachel Iredale, Evaluation Manager at CITB, said: “We believe that all evaluation should be informative, useful and beneficial. We want to focus on activities that make a real difference to the construction industry and use evidence to drive improvements in performance and in skills and training across the sector. Collaborative evaluation is the way forwards and CITB are pleased to be working with an evaluation expert like Focus Consultants.”