CITB Fast Track Brickwork Academy Aims to Tackle National Shortage of Bricklayers
The latest initiative from the CITB’s Fast Track Academy, the Brickwork Academy, has been designed to help bridge the skill gap in the brickwork industry.
Latest reports are showing that whilst college students are applying to taking construction-related courses in brickwork, only a quarter actually move directly into a related role once they finish their studies. Not only is this causing an issue with the number of skilled workers onsite, it’s also raising the cost of those studying then being unable to put their newfound skills into use.
What’s the Problem?
Lack of practical work experience is being cited as the biggest reason as to why newly qualified brickies are being overlooked for roles; lack of work is definitely not a problem at this moment in time with the construction sector being buoyed by modest growth in house building through 2019.
The new Brickwork Academy has launched initially with students in Liverpool and Warwickshire (at Wirral Metropolitan College, Hugh Baird College and Warwickshire College, respectively). Students accepted through the Academy will benefit from an additional 7 weeks of practical skills training at their college, alongside work experience days on local sites and then a further 24 weeks working alongside their employer onsite towards their NVQ Level 2 brickwork qualification. In this way, students will be working as a trainee bricklayer, earning and learning at the same time. This intensive onsite experience with a salary provides an extra incentive for students to stay the course.
In a dualled approach to both practical and personal skills, the extra college training is aimed at teaching students about the construction sector and employment in general, covering topics such as self-employment, employability skills and working in the sector. This will be taught in conjunction with practical towel skills.
Students in Liverpool will be given the opportunity to work on 3 projects that CITB partner Morgan Sindall is delivering for Merseyside Police and Liverpool John Moors University.
2019 and Beyond
Should this first pilot of the Brickwork Academy be successful on initial CITB evaluation, then this has the potential to be rolled out across other areas of the country, as well as into other niche sectors of the construction industry as a whole.