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Sustainable Training for Sustainable Communities

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					The Housing Forum


Sustainable Training for
Sustainable Communities
Sustainable Training for Sustainable Communities (STSC) is a joint partnership between the
Housing Forum and CITB-ConstructionSkills. Launched in late 2003, STSC aims to: address
the housing sector’s skills gap by exploring best practice in a number of Housing Forum
Demonstration Projects; establish the business case for investing in workforce training and
diverse recruitment; and share learning between projects.
STSC draws on fifteen Housing Forum Demonstration
Projects from around the UK, focusing particularly on
their training activities. All of the projects are
undertaking long-term Refurbishment, Maintenance and
Improvement (RMI) programmes in housing, many in
order to meet the Government’s Decent Homes targets.
Their training initiatives aim to address local housing
skill shortages and to improve the local economy by
providing training and employment opportunities.
The Demonstration Projects represent a range of                                                construction employment of 2.8% . However, this
                                                                                                                                 1




organisations - including Arms Length Management                                               average masks a significant range between projects, for
Organisations, Large Scale Voluntary Transfers,                                                example 50% female recruitment on Derwent Builds,
formal Partnerships and private sector organisations                                           Derby City Council and Derby Homes’ Maintenance
– undertaking programmes of markedly different size                                            Training Project, and 100% BME recruitment to Bradford
and scope.                                                                                     Community Housing Trust’s training scheme.
                                                                                               –        Working with its contractor partners, First
One year into STSC, this document highlights key                                               Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) has launched a
findings to date. A full interim report will be available in                                    Managed Exchange Programme (MEP) aimed
March 2005 at www.thehousingforum.org.uk. STSC                                                 specifically at increasing trainee intake from BME
is an ongoing programme and there will be further                                              communities. During the first year of the MEP, 30%
gathering, analysing and publishing of information.                                            of FCHO’s total trainee intake came from BME
                                                                                               backgrounds – a significant improvement on previous
While the focus of this study is on (RMI) in housing,                                          years’ intakes.
many of the lessons learnt will be transferable to the                                         –          All of the trainees on Bradford Community
housing new build sector and to other construction                                             Housing Trust’s training programme are of BME origin.
sectors.                                                                                       Positive action to recruit BME trainees was taken,
                                                                                               primarily through the use of Youthbuild, a local agency
Key findings                                                                                    with financial support from CITB-ConstructionSkills.
The locations of the fifteen Demonstration Projects are                                         •          A number of industry-led training centres have
illustrated on the back cover. Of the fifteen projects,                                         been created and trainers have been provided through
eleven are underway and four will start in the near                                            these projects.
future.                                                                                        –          Working with a local charity, Barnsley
                                                                                               Metropolitan Borough Council has acquired derelict
Successes                                                                                      properties in Barnsley that will provide on-site training
Some key successes achieved in the projects include:                                           opportunities for its trainees and other construction
•         Collectively, the projects have reported 691                                         workers.
trainees taken on since the start of the STSC projects.                                        –          Private company, United House Ltd, is
A further 494 trainees are expected to be taken on in                                          working with Barking & Dagenham College and CITB-
future (in the current projects alone).                                                        ConstructionSkills to develop a framework and training
•         The average reported trainee retention rate is                                       for domestic kitchen/ bathroom fitters (Multi Skill) at
high at 86%.                                                                                   NVQ Level 2.
•         The average reported proportion of ethnic                                            –          Pennine Housing 2000 has provided funding
minority and female trainees on the programmes                                                 and trainers for its local FE College to develop training
is above the national average in the construction                                              courses that meet their requirements for flexible
workforce. The overall proportion of female trainees                                           training for the new Building Maintenance qualification.
on these projects is 3%, compared with a national                                              •          Significant social and economic benefits to the
proportion of females in manual construction trades of                                         local community have stemmed from these training
1%1. Similarly, the overall proportion of Black Minority                                       initiatives.
Ethnic (BME) trainees on the projects is 13%,                                                  –          Derwent Builds, Derby City Council and Derby
compared with a national proportion of BME in                                                  Homes have launched a joint Maintenance Training


1 Construction Skills (2004). Altogether Stronger: Skills Needs Analysis for Construction Executive Summary.
                                                                 •         Strategic partnering arrangements and well-
                                                                 integrated supply chains.
                                                                 –         Fusion 21’s partnership of seven Housing
                                                                 Associations and Knowsley Council uses a
                                                                 sophisticated procurement approach between its
                                                                 partners, contractors, sub contractors and suppliers to
                                                                 deliver RMI programmes on some 85,000 properties
Project in the New Deal for Communities area of Chasseden.       in the Merseyside area. A substantial training scheme
A number of local unemployed people are being trained            is run in conjunction with this that has trained 317
for positions in the construction industry, providing            individuals to date and aims to take on a further 210
opportunities for individuals excluded from the labour           trainees in future.
market.                                                          –         Whitefriars Housing Group used a strategic
–         City West Homes is one year into a similar             partnering approach to deliver its £240m worth of
three-year pilot training programme aimed at providing           RMI work to some 19,000 properties. Partners are
opportunities for disadvantaged members of the local             committed to using a range of Key Performance
community.                                                       Indicators (Construction Industry Headline and
–         Sheffield Homes has secured training for some           Respect for People), to open book accounting and are
200 trainees to date and hopes to provide a further 1500         offered a guaranteed profit level. A commitment to
training places in the future. All trainees are recruited from   recruiting and training local people is integral to the
local areas of extreme social deprivation.                       partnership agreement.

Factors that contribute to these successes include:              Some factors that act as barriers to further success for
•         Ensuring senior management and key individuals         the Demonstration Projects include:
are committed to training thereby ensuring training is an        •         A shortage of suitable training places,
integral part of procurement criteria.                           providers and trainers meeting industry demands
–         Generally, projects that included training             for flexible, on-site assessment and training, often
commitments and funding at project procurement stages            in ‘multi-skilling’ qualifications such as Building
were more successful in ensuring participation from their        Maintenance NVQ.
partners in training initiatives (primarily with relation to
partners taking on and employing trainees).                      •        A wide range of issues relating to funding,
•         Providing intensive support, co-ordination and         including:
mentoring for trainees and other key stakeholders.               –        a lack of information on funding sources
–         A number of the demonstration projects – for           –        inflexible funding criteria and restrictions
example City West Homes, Hounslow Homes, Walsall                          relating to trainee intake and processes
Housing Group, Pennine Housing 2000 and Sheffield                 –        regional variations in funding availability
Homes – have ensured that trainees have intensive,
one-to-one mentoring and support. This is particularly           •         Accessing, attracting, recruiting and retaining
important during the first few weeks of a training                target trainee groups, particularly in female and BME
programme, when trainees are most likely to leave the            groups.
programme.
•         Clients partnering with local specialist agencies to
assist with recruiting applicants and managing the training
process.
–         Bradford Community Housing Trust and Kirklees
Neighbourhood Housing are currently using specialist
local labour agencies (Youthbuild and Build respectively).
Sheffield Homes has set up its own construction recruitment
agency. Sandwell Homes will be using a local organisation,
Think Local Construction,when it launches its training
programme later this year.
Next Steps                                                              Client organisations participating in the
                                                                        STSC Demonstration Projects:
The findings of the interim report suggest that the following
                                                                        1) Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
measures would enhance the industry’s ability to train its              2) Bradford Community Housing Trust
workforce and maximise wider community benefits arising                  3) City West Homes, Westminster
from housing RMI programmes:                                            4) Derwent Builds / Derby City Council / Derby Homes
•       developing more flexible funding allocation to                   5) First Choice Homes Oldham
support training initiatives, accommodating different local needs,      6) Fusion 21, Knowsley
                                                                        7) Hounslow Homes
demographic groups and training approaches
                                                                        8) Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing
•         addressing the significant mismatch between FE
                                                                        9) Pennine Housing 2000, Halifax
training provision and industry demands for training                    10) Rotherham Decent Homes
•         providing increased funding for training in the housing       11) Sandwell Homes
sector, acknowledging the exceptional skill and labour demands          12) Sheffield Homes
being experienced by the housing sector                                 13) Tristar Homes*
•         improving the perception of the industry amongst              14) United House Limited
potential female and BME entrants and supporting positive               15) Valleys 2 Coast Housing, Bridgend*
                                                                        16) Walsall Housing Group
action for their recruitment into training initiatives
                                                                        17) Whitefriars Housing Group, Coventry
•         encouraging primary and secondary schools to link
curriculum activities with visits to construction projects in their
communities so as to improve the industry’s image.


In addition to highlighting measures such as these, in the future                                                   *Additional STSC
the STSC partnership will:                                                                                          demonstration projects include
•          ensure information relating to best practice and lessons                                                 Tristar Homes and Valleys 2
                                                                                                                    Coast Housing. They will be
learnt is regularly collected and disseminated to relevant parties
                                                                                                                    included in future reports.
about the STSC programme
•          use the industry KPIs on their projects to test the
hypothesis that investment in training does not adversely affect
the business bottom line
•          encourage and participate in dialogue between
government and appropriate bodies to progress
the measures suggested above.                                                                               North East
                                                                                 Scotland
                                                                                                                  13*
                                                                                                North
                                                                                                West
                                                             Northern                                       Yorkshire &
                                                                                                5, 6        Humber
                                                             Ireland

                                                                                                            1, 2, 8, 9,
                                                                                                            10, 12
                                                                                                                       East
                                                                                                                       Midlands
                                                                                                       West
                                                                                                       Midlands          4

                                                                                                       11, 16, 17        East of England

Krystyna Blackburn
Sustainable Training Project Manager
The Housing Forum                                                                                                    London
Constructing Excellence
                                                                                   Wales 15*                         3, 7, 14
T 020 7592 1150
E krystyna.blackburn@constructingexcellence.org.uk

Paul Sykes                                                                                                South East
CITB-ConstructionSkills Recruitment Manager
T 01509 282 885                                                         South West
E paul.sykes@citb.co.uk

				
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