A Qualified Workforce: by Mark Priestman

Mark Priestman is a Partner at Priestman Associates LLP, a leading fa√Åade preservation project consultancy, from stonemasonry and heritage skills through to site supervision and conservation management. The partnership is trusted by the leading brands of the sector as an NVQ provider for experienced, upskiller and apprentice workers. 07876 687212. [email protected].

Make the most of the fee-neutral programme for trainees in Stone Fixing or Façade Preservation

In the Spring next year, in co-operation with the CITB, Priestman Associates will be looking at launching our next intakes for the Specialist Applied-Skills Programmes (SAPs) in both Stone Fixing and Façade Preservation.

Both these programmes work out better than fee-neutral if the employer is CITB registered, whether or not they are large enough to be paying the levy. The value of the training is £4,900 per person. Successful learners achieve a sector approved CITB certificate identifying them as having passed the Specialist Applied-Skills Programme. Additionally, they undertake assessment for the Level 2 NVQ in either Stone Fixing or Façade Preservation.

While enrolled, they qualify to apply for the red CSCS Trainee Card, which enables them access to sites. On certification at the end of the 18-month programme they can apply to CSCS for a blue Skilled Worker Card.

Why is this route to NVQ achievement popular?

It requires only 20 days of off-site training in sector requisitioned training modules. These modules operate out of Borehamwood in Hertfordshire when theory based or Ongar in Essex when practical at the yard of Stone Restoration Services Ltd. If a business has four or more people enrolled, the training can take place on the company premises.

As things are at the moment, naturally Zoom video conferencing is being used to comply with Covid restrictions.

Our current in-take of trainees from Stone Restoration Services, Szerelmey and Triton are all progressing well, in spite of the need for the flexible delivery the coronavirus pandemic has necessitated.

Employers are encouraged to mentor the trainees while they are involved in projects, keeping workforce disruption to a minimum. In this way the programme can complement in-house apprenticeship and traineeship needs.

Please give me a shout if you’d welcome more information or want to sign up for the next SAP intake in the Spring. 

CSCS Green Card for Labourers

Great news for businesses with people needing the level 1 requirement for the CSCS Labourer card.

CITB has now introduced an online version of its Health & Safety Awareness (HSA) course. It can be booked at ecourses.citb.co.uk. 

Many employers complained about how difficult it was for them to meet the level 1 requirement, so this addition to the list of providers will be a convenient route for many to take.

CSCS Scheme Manager Angeleen Hill says “Ensuring the integrity of the examination process is absolutely paramount to CSCS, which is why CSCS has a strict e-assessment policy that ensures the security of the examination process. I am pleased to confirm that CITB’s online HSA course has met CSCS’s e-assessment policy.”

This online version of the HSA course is fairly flexible, as it doesn’t matter where a learner lives or works as long as they can access the internet.

For more information on this route and other approved routes to the level 1 HSA course go to: www.cscs.uk.com/labourer.