Training delivers results

Barry Neilson, Chief Executive, CITB NI, outlines how construction employers can avail of a range of training opportunities

Training is so important within all sectors but particularly construction. Well-trained construction workers are safer, better skilled, work faster and make fewer mistakes. They are better motivated and are more efficient and effective.

As an Industry Training Board and Sector Skills Council, CITB NI’s vision is to have a construction industry were skills and competence are at the core of every business plan and a training culture where skills are at the heart of each construction company, no matter how large or small. We work with contractors, professional and trade bodies to support training initiatives and skills development for the overall benefit of the industry.

We encourage CITB NI registered employers to undertake training and make use of our grant scheme to help improve skills within the workforce. The CITB NI training grant scheme offers direct grants to registered employers to support a wide range of training and qualifications for employees working in Northern Ireland.

The training is not limited to just the construction trades – it also includes administration, supervision and management training. The training grant funds are easy to claim, with employers encouraged to claim online via the website grants

Skills shortages and an aging workforce are putting the industry at risk in particular in trade areas such as brick laying, joinery and roofing. CITB NI has enhanced apprenticeship grants available to CITB NI registered employers meaning that an employer can gain £5,200 during the three-year cycle of training an apprentice plus an additional £1,500 from the Department for the Economy for employers who take on apprentices from the very start, right through to completion of NVQ Level 2 and 3 and over 200 apprentices have been supported by this initiative over the past two years.

CITB NI also support other training which is delivered via our Mobile Training Unit, Scaffolding Courses, VET 360 virtual environment training and specialist short courses often delivered in partnership with industry. In addition, our business improvement seminars and workshops are held at key locations across Northern Ireland, helping local construction employers develop skills in key business areas.

Moving forward CITB NI will continue to focus on providing the support and services needed to ensure local businesses have the right skills to deliver quality. Through a mix of grant funding and direct training interventions CITB NI will help develop the workforce to meet client needs and grow their business.

For further information on what we can do to help you and your construction training log on to, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or interact on LinkedIn.