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Making construction qualifications count


Sir, We share the concerns of Joe Dwyer ('Time to get trainees out of college and on site', Letters, June 8) regarding college courses which don't lead to a vocational qualif ication.

The Government, not CITBConstructionSkills, funds these courses, and we are challenging the current approach with both the Department for Education and Skills and the Learning and Skills Council.

Currently, all apprentices managed through CITB-ConstructionSkills' Managing Agency (some 9,500 people) are matched with an employer, which ensures they get the work-based learning required to complete apprenticeship framework and a vocational qualification. We are also running a campaign targeted at employers, with the aim of getting more firms to take on apprentices.

But we recognise there are a significant number of students who will struggle to complete the framework due to lack of on-site practice. We have introduced a new structure called Programme-Led Apprenticeships to pick up some of those and ensure they get the workbased learning they need.

Max Hamps Director, Managing Agency CITB-ConstructionSkills London EC1