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Top Marks For Framework

4 September 2013

Costain’s commitment to improving skills, safety and engagement with schools has been underlined once again in results from the first year of the Construction Skills Academy on Severn Trent Water’s AMP5 Framework.

It hit 90% of the key performance indicators set by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), leaving the first-year  target of 80% achievement trailing in its wake.

The Framework team, led by Project Skills Co-ordinator Sarah Allez, achieved 75 of the 82 targets set and monitored by the CITB. In total, 6,500 hours of training were undertaken by Costain and subcontract staff.

One requirement, to put four subcontractors through advanced health and safety training, was eclipsed as no fewer than 42 subcontractors completed either the CITB’s Site Management Safety Training Scheme or Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme.

A further 213 undertook other accredited training courses, helping to improve further the safety of everyone working on Costain sites.

Another CITB requirement, for 24 pupils undertaking a construction or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths) subject to be involved in a construction-based activity led by Costain, was also broken when 34 pupils participated in a Construction Careers Day at Buxton Community School,  Derbyshire.

Alison Trick, the school’s Careers Education and Guidance Co-ordinator, said: “The students greatly appreciated the presentations you gave and were very enthusiastic participants in the Lego Tower activity, giving them the opportunity to think about the skills needed on construction projects from planning to problem solving. Feedback from students has been extremely positive.”

CITB also set a target for the Framework to reach higher education students by opening sites to at least four individuals. Together, Minworth and Edgbaston hosted 40.

Framework staff also reached a further 185 pupils with careers talks and by providing information about the construction industry, through a combination of volunteering as  Construction Ambassadors and supporting the Big Bang Science and Engineering Fair in June.

As the Skills Academy moves into its second year the focus will be on increasing NVQ qualifications, recruiting apprentices, increasing supply chain engagement and forging stronger links with schools and colleges.

Commenting on the first year’s results, Framework Director Ritchie Burcombe, said: “We’ve got off to a flying start and really set the tone for the next couple of years with regard to increasing the skills set of our own workforce and that of our supply chain.

“I’m particularly pleased to see how many staff are engaging with the skills programme.

“I want to challenge all Framework staff to look at how they can support Sarah and colleagues over the next twelve months to ensure our Academy status and performance continue to go from strength to strength.”