AWARDING BODY ProQual and digital-first training platform provider Tequ have come together to pilot a job-specific rainscreen cladding installation qualification, designed to help address the current shortage of trained and qualified professionals in the construction industry as quickly as possible.
Findings following the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017 identified a total of 477 high-rise residential buildings and publicly owned buildings as having aluminium composite material cladding such as that used on the tower, which would need to be removed.
With the Building Safety Bill and Fire Safety Act set to require even more work in cladding remediation, it is crucial that the shortage of trained and qualified rainscreen cladding installation professionals within the construction industry is addressed.
The partnership between ProQual and Tequ is supported by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and provides a digital-first delivery with an ability to learn in an agile way that suits the student’s need. The new qualification – called ProQual Level 2 Award in Rainscreen Cladding Installation – will be assessed by ProQual approved training providers through Tequ’s innovative learning platform.
Using a blended learning approach with a digital recording system, this new course can be achieved quickly and become a platform for students to choose their onward learning – whether that is on a pathway in cladding or a transition to other parts of the construction sector.
Jenni Longden, chief executive of Tequ, said: “We’re really pleased to be working in partnership with ProQual to deliver this much-needed, skills-specific training course into the construction industry. The shortage of trained rainscreen cladding installer professionals is a problem for the sector, so it’s important that we tackle that as quickly as possible.
“Shorter, more specific and agile qualifications are a key way for us to do this, which aligns with both what the industry needs and what people want from their training too. We are really excited to embark on this scheme and look forward to hearing the feedback from the centres and those participating in the qualification.”
The qualification puts job-specific skills into the hands of construction professionals to help tackle the ongoing cladding crisis. The learner will develop their knowledge and skills in a workplace environment covering criteria such as health and safety, fire risks, equipment preparation and the all-important installation method.
The pilot scheme has been launched with four training centres, Endeavour Safety Services, Bercaf, Skills Centre and ASQ. The scheme covers 100 learners all due to complete their qualifications by this autumn.
Mike Hewitt, business services manager of ProQual, said: “With the ongoing need to remediate cladding work across the country, it became starkly clear to us that the training courses available on the market were too time consuming. We wanted to help provide a qualification in a more efficient manner and provide the future of learning with e-portfolios and CVs.
“We are proud of what we have produced and look forward to working with Tequ and the training providers to get our first learners fully qualified and out onto site with the job-specific skills they need.”
Gerard Toplass, group CEO of The 55 Group, Tequ’s parent organisation, said: “It is fantastic that this collaboration brings together a new digital way of learning, which could really help make the industry more responsive. By delivering skills to young people quickly, will provide them with a life of careers rather than a career for life.
“We see this pilot as a template for future qualifications that can be delivered quickly, allowing the sector to become more responsive to future needs in other areas including renewables, electric vehicle charging and more. We need to promote a ‘Passport for Construction’ approach for the sector and this pilot project is a great building block.
“We are really pleased this pilot has been backed by key organisations and figures in the industry, including the CITB and Dame Judith Hackitt. Tackling the ongoing shortfall in people with specific skillsets in the construction industry is something we’re particularly passionate about and will continue to work on into the future.”
For more information about the ProQual Level 2 Award in Rainscreen Cladding Installation course or to onboard, please visit https://www.proqualab.com/media/documents/ProQual-L2-Award-in-Rainscreen-Cladding-Installation.pdf
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