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ConstructionSkills and Skillset benefit from extra input

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ConstructionSkills National Specialist Accredited Centre (NSAC) announced yesterday that 1100 recruits would benefit from a boost in new funding worth £1.5 million.

The windfall from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) will help meet the current demand for training within the specialist sectors and allow the NSAC to deliver specialist training through the registered centre, opening the possibility of expanding its training through smaller specialist centres.

The NSAC, based in the East Midlands, was established in 2002 to provide an assessment service to the specialist sectors within the construction industry and is one of the largest construction centres in the country with nearly 3000 candidates. The centre is accredited to offer more than 50 different occupational qualifications at NVQ Levels 2, including drilling and sawing.

The NSAC hopes this new funding will allay industry concerns about the high costs associated with specialist training combined with growing commitment from major contractors to the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) and a fully carded workforce.

The CSCS has the support for a fully qualified workforce by the end of 2010 thanks to a commitment by organisations such as the Major Contractors Group (MCG), National Contractors Federation (NCF), Major Home Builders Group (MHBG) and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA).

ConstructionSkills Specialist Manager Stuart Littlefair hopes the extra funding will encourage more businesses to take advantage of the additional support: “Training is essential for success in business, but we recognise that in the specialist sector investing in training and up-skilling your workforce can be expensive. Now, with this new funding, the NSAC can offer businesses additional support which will make training affordable and with industry increasingly demanding a fully carded competent workforce it is an opportunity not to be missed”.

And in other news, the Skillset Film Skills Fund has also announced an investment of £600,000 as part of the drive to develop skills and the commercial sensibility of the UK film industry’s writers, producers and directors.

The move, in conjunction with “A Bigger Future” and the UK Film Council, will support seven innovative development schemes and more than 60 people for a minimum of eight months. The projects will specifically target the under representation of women and black minority ethnic individuals within the industry.

Judy Counihan, Director of Film at Skillset, said: “In awarding this funding Skillset was looking for project based training directly linked to production output which could bring a commercial sensibility to participants and raise the quality and commercial viability of the projects available to the industry”.

“We encouraged creativity in the design and delivery of the projects applying and I think the successful projects achieved just that”, she added.

Information on the projects being funded and how to apply for individual places can be found by going to the Skillset website.

Irene Watt.

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