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12May94 UK: TRAINING REFORM PLANS LEAVE CIVILS WANTING.

Civil engineering contractors fear their needs are being ignored as the Construction Industry Training Board races to overhaul training by the autumn.Next week the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors is expected to call on the CITB's high-powered Joint Action Group on New Entrant Training (JAGNET) to give higher priority to on-the-job training.The JAGNET proposals for six training routes into the industry are due to be implemented in September. These routes include traditional apprenticeships, full-time courses, two versions of the current Youth Training Scheme, on-the-job, and adult training. All routes stress attainment of national vocational qualifications, and involvement of labour-only subcontractors.But the civils argue they could train operatives faster and more cheaply with short modular courses in specific skills. Operatives could gain an NVQ by taking different skill modules over a period of time.John Drake, FCEC training officer, said: 'Our training is different from the builders. Civil engineering operatives have a diverse range of skills which don't come together quite like those of a brickie or chippie.' CONSTRUCTION NEWS