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Employers must take blame for training mess

LETTERS

Sir, Your report on the plight of 500 demolition workers waiting for qualifications and the claim that 'training needs radical surgery' (News and Comment, May 25) warrants further investigation.

Despite your Comment's claim and despite the inadequacies of CITB-ConstructionSkills and its Joint Awarding Body partner, City and Guilds, the main blame for the lack of assessors lies with employers.

Employers will not make any headway if they rely solely on trainers or others who purport to occupational competence in NVQ assessment. The CITB at Bircham Newton excels in the biblical trades but is woefully inadequate in more specialist areas such as demolition.

We have had sufficient warning from Government and the Major Contractors Group concerning the 2010 target for a fully qualified workforce.

It's no use whining about the over zealousness of City and Guilds assessors or the lack of training centres. Employers must reinforce the need for competence.

Many employers are indifferent to assessment and training qualifications.

Employers are subcontracting their NVQ needs to assessors whose occupational competence is suspect. The NVQ should be a true measure of competence if the assessment is undertaken by an occupationally competent examiner.

Commercially-run training providers are easy targets for employers when eleventh hour attempts to achieve qualification hit trouble.

But why do so many employers pay others to do their assessments and training when many can provide the very same expertise from within their own ranks?

Rather than let external trainers flourish on EU funding, employers could tap in to the same cash by providing assessors.

The occupational expertise within demolition, piling and other specialist areas is formidable. The NFDC is ahead of other sectors with its NVQ centre, which trains people to operational levels of competence. The cream on top should be a team of assessors recruited from within.

Mick Norton BEM Group training manager Roger Bullivant Burton on Trent, Staffordshire