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Scotland gets ConstructionSkills 'specialist' section

17 September 2012

CITB ConstructionSkills has launched a National Specialist Accredited Centre (NSAC) Scotland, to give specialist contractors in Scotland the same services from the agency that they receive in England.

The Centre is working in partnership with the National Construction College and local colleges to offer tailored assessment and training for people working in specialist sectors. A particular focus will be those that are hard to reach and potentially difficult to fund, owing to the minority status of many occupations.

The work will continue to draw on a highly effective delivery formula by contracting with existing specialist assessors. It will also train experienced and committed operators in assessment practices to fill identified gaps.

Quality processes have been fine-tuned in recent years. Over 1,500 specialist operators have become qualified through CITB-ConstructionSkills’ NSAC and 15 per cent progressed to higher qualifications.

Jenny MacIver has been recruited to coordinate and manage the National Specialist Team in Scotland. She is clear on the importance of the NSAC’s arrival. She says: “While I would like to think learning opportunities here are as good as anywhere in the UK, the small number of workers in specialist occupations has implications on cost and logistics. This can limit take-up by new learners and experienced workers. So it will be very beneficial to have a base for assessment and training of minority specialist sectors here in Scotland.”

Field teams have already drawn up an initial priority list of occupations to support through on-site assessments and Scottish Modern Apprenticeships, leading to SVQ achievements. Key occupations include lead sheeting and rough casting – with the latter representing an entirely new NSAC offer. The importance of the low carbon agenda to skills development across the UK will also see an emphasis on providing ‘green’ qualifications for Scotland’s specialist sectors.

Chyrel Lennox provides administrative support for NSAC Scotland. For any enquiries about the new provision, call 0300 456 8728 or email [email protected].

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