Exclusive: Ambitious Partnership Replaces CITB


A new dynamic partnership between Waltham Forest Council and Dudley College of Technology will replace the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in National Construction College.

This exciting Leyton combination also sees scaffolding training provider Simian teaming up with both the Dudley establishment and the council, to meet the demands of traditional trades. It will, of course, provide the high-quality tuition required to meet the needs of an evolving industry.

The Council will lead on the digitisation of the Construction sector, as Dudley College delivers virtual reality and modern methods of construction. As the UK’s largest private provider of world-class training, Simian will ensure the East London centre continues to assist the industry to fill crucial skills gaps in the scaffolding sector. At the same time, it will innovatively develop tailor-made solutions for the industry as a whole.

Dudley College of Technology is one of 20 Outstanding FE Colleges in the UK, considered a national leader of training in modern methods of construction delivery. They are one of 16 institutions nationwide to be selected by the Department of Education, to develop a stage two proposal to create one of their flagship Institutes of Technology with a construction focus.

Waltham Forest is one of the NCC training sites, leased by CITB from the Council, to run construction skills training courses in the area. As part of CITB’s programme of reform, Vision 2020, CITB gave notice on the lease to end its contract and exit the site from July 2018. This was delivered on the understanding both parties would work together on the shared goal to find a new tenant-centre manager, to continue offering high-quality construction skills training.

Simon Hughes, Simian’s Managing Director, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in the delivery of specialist scaffolding training in partnership with Dudley College, an organisation held in very high regard in the education world. It is our intention to place significant emphasis on the delivery of Scaffolding Apprenticeships at the Waltham Forest site, and to expand the existing training portfolio to include all CISRS scaffolding courses. We are confident this will play a significant part in addressing the construction industry skills shortage and meeting the Mayor of London’s objectives.”

Cllr Simon Miller, Waltham Forest’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets added: “We were delighted to welcome Dudley College of Technology to Waltham Forest. They presented an exciting programme of activity and transformation to current Centre activity and demonstrated a history of high-quality and innovative training delivery.

“As CITB withdraw from the National Construction Centre model it presents all parties to use this opportunity to create best practice and ensure we continue offering high-quality construction skills training that benefits not just our residents and the local economy, but the industry as a whole.

“It is our ambition for the newly launched Centre to deliver a wide range of training, which provides a complete overview of the Built Environment and Construction process and considers the changing future of work.

“With demand for quality homes across the borough and London increasing, our partnership with Dudley College will deliver a programme of training that tackles current skills shortages in the borough and across London, while providing insight and qualifications on the latest methods of delivery.”

The Centre’s proposed programme of activity aligns with the Mayor’s agenda, in identifying the need for a programme of activity which closes the gap between their ambitious housing targets, and the need for more skilled construction workers in London. The London Mayor’s Construction Academy (MCA) Scheme, aims to fulfill the Mayor’s pledge.

The Council, in partnership with Transport for London and a number of supporting partners, has submitted a bid to the GLA for Hub status to act as a coordinating function for the construction industry in the capital. This will strengthen the relationships, and improve coordination, between construction skills training providers and construction sector employers across the city.

Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, explained: “This new partnership will benefit learners from across East London. By promoting the use of virtual reality training courses, digital technology and modern methods of construction, the new centre will help realise the Mayor’s ambition to equip Londoners with the up-to-date skills employers need, and create the workforce capable of delivering more homes in the future.”

The Centre Management partnership already comes with MCA Kitemark status, enabling the Council and Dudley College of Technology to work collaboratively with the GLA on their construction training agenda.

Graham McPhail, CITB Head of Education & Training, summed up the plans by saying: “CITB is committed to supporting a robust, high-quality skills and training market.

“By stepping away from direct delivery, we remove any conflict of interest. This enables us to focus on building the right relationships with providers to secure the kind of provision British construction needs.”

The partnership will commence after the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) exit the Centre in January 2019.