skills and apprenticeship report

Skills and training: Vital for the future of the construction industry

Skills support will remain paramount in the coming years as the construction industry seeks to recover from the challenges of Covid-19, Brexit and rising inflation costs.

The Northern Ireland construction industry has been greatly impacted by Covid-19, Brexit and rising inflation costs. However, both economic and industry growth is expected to return over the next number of years. CITB NI’s support for training will continue to remain paramount over the upcoming years to serve our industry while it recovers and grows again.

We have encouraged our industry to continue to train during the difficult times to develop the skills of their workforce to help overcome challenges and learn more. The CITB NI Grants Scheme offers our registered employers grants to support training and qualifications, from apprentices, student placement grants through to the existing workforce including management and administration that supports the construction activity of the business. Registered employers are encouraged to make use of the grant scheme to help improve skills within their workforce.

Skills shortages, an ageing workforce and poor perception of the industry are putting the future of the construction industry at risk. Consequently, the industry needs to do more to successfully promote itself to young people, careers influencers and meet the future demands.

By way of influencing the skills of the future CITB NI will continue to promote construction to the younger generation, help them consider the varied pathways within the industry as well as being a serious career option for the future.

CITB NI recently took part in NI Apprenticeship Week 2022 promoting apprenticeships via digital platforms and undertaking a transforming apprenticeship school event which enabled over 150 year 12 to 14 pupils an opportunity to hear more about construction apprenticeships, speak to potential employers and have a go at practical skills. Apprentices are a vital component to helping the construction industry develop and grow. Offering young people apprenticeships gives businesses the chance to play an active role in moulding their future workforce and creating the future skills that they need to help their businesses develop.

Skills competitions remain a focus for CITB NI and we organise the annual Skillbuild NI Finals each year. SkillBuild NI is a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate the high level of skills within our college and training network. Each year SkillBuild NI brings together the top and brightest talent in a bid to win in categories ranging from brickwork to wall and floor tiling. It also helps to shine a light on the enormous talent, professionalism and brightest recruits that exists across the industry.

CITB NI will host Skillbuild NI National Finals on Wednesday 4 May, 2022 at their Training Centre at Nutts Corner. Winners will have the opportunity to represent Northern Ireland in the Skillbuild UK or Skill M&E UK National Finals and potentially the UK at WorldSkills. Following Covid-19 protocols, this will be the first face to face Skillbuild NI finals since 2019 and competitors are looking forward to the event.

By way of encouraging young people to continue studying construction CITB NI has launched their Annual Built Environment Student Bursary Award, 12 students, who commenced and completed their first year of a full-time 3rd level Built Environment related construction qualification with a local training provider, were awarded a £1,000 bursary last year and this will continue this year to support training and education within the built environment.

Looking towards the future, CITB NI will continue to promote construction careers to the youth market to encourage opportunities within the industry. Provide the support and services needed to ensure local businesses are equipped with all the right skills and continue to work with contractors, professional and trade bodies to support training and skills development for the overall benefit of the industry.

For further information on what we can do to help you and your construction training, log on to, like us on Facebook or follow the discussion on Twitter @CITBNI , Instagram @CITB1 and LinkedIn

CITB NI, 17 Dundrod Road
Crumlin, BT29 4SR

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