Employers urged to play their part as CITB steps in to help Carillion apprentices
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is calling on all former Carillion apprentices to get in contact so it can help them continue their training – and for employers to step forward to take them on.
The UK’s second-biggest builder, which employs 20,000 people in the UK and thousands in Scotland, entered liquidation on Monday after racking up debt and pensions burdens of around £1.5 billion.
CITB said it has worked with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to ensure funding is available so that it can continue to support the training for Carillion apprentices.
It has attempted contact with the 1400 apprentices, and hundreds have already been booked in for events being held across the country this week. CITB is offering every former Carillion apprentice a face-to-face session with CITB Apprenticeships to find out their individual learning needs. Many more need to be contacted so they can take up the career lifeline CITB is offering them through its offer of support.
The Carillion apprentices were primarily in bricklaying and carpentry and joinery – skills that the country vitally needs to build homes and solve our housing shortage.
For this reason, CITB is also calling on construction employers – particularly homebuilders, as many of the skills are applicable and in demand for that sector – to rally round and take on the former Carillion apprentices.
A hotline has been set up for both former Carillion apprentices to get in touch, and for construction employers who are interested in helping them.
The phone number is: 0344 994 4010 and there is also an email firstname.lastname@example.org for people to contact CITB’s dedicated support team.
The apprentices were being trained in Carillion centres through England and Scotland, with some of the bigger centres based in Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Sunderland, Sittingbourne and Southampton.
CITB hopes to start placing the first apprentices with new employers as early as next week as the construction sector looks to recover from the collapse of its second biggest firm.
Sarah Beale, chief executive of CITB, said: “We understand it’s a very worrying time for the young people who were on the Carillion apprenticeship programme, but we can help them restart their training and get their careers back on track if they get in touch with us. Our industry needs the skills these young people are developing and we want to help them find new employers and get their qualifications.
“Our industry, which has consistently reported skill shortages and difficulties in attracting apprentices, now needs to step up and support these young people who have so much to offer. There is certainly no shortage of work in construction, with housebuilding and infrastructure particularly strong, so these young people can have great careers despite this setback.
“At CITB, we are committed to doing everything we can to help the former Carillion apprentices, and hope to see many of them restarting their careers very soon.”
Scottish companies affected by the Carillion insolvency can call Scottish Enterprise on 0300 013 3385 or register their details here.
The redundancy helpline operated by Skills Development Scotland is 0800 917 8000, with help also available here.