A new £4.5m scheme to support the retention of essential skills during and after the COVID-19 crisis has been launched by the ECITB (Engineering Construction Industry Training Board).

The Train to Retain scheme supports the ongoing development of apprentices and graduates within in-scope companies whose opportunity to continue in their recognised industry programmes has been suspended or impacted by COVID-19.  By funding training activities for new starters in core ECI roles, the ECITB aims to help the industry retain and develop the talent required to meet its medium and long term skills needs.

Chris Claydon, ECITB Chief Executive, said: “The ECITB has developed a package of crisis response measures with an eye on the future, helping industry with both the short term problems as it recovers from the immediate economic impact and the longer term challenges, such as emerging skills gaps.

“Through Train to Retain, we will help employers to provide training and development activities for apprentices and graduates whose first steps on the career ladder have been impacted by the pandemic. As relatively inexperienced workers, apprentices and graduates are among the most vulnerable during times of economic instability. However, we cannot forget that they are the future of our industry, and it is crucial their skills are retained and developed to ensure industry remains competitive.”

As well as the Train to Retain’ scheme to help employers keep hold of apprentices and graduates, the ECITB has announced a new Scholarship to support trainees embarking on engineering construction careers; and ramped up investment in digital training and assessment tools.