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Support increases for diploma

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Less than a month before the launch of the diploma in construction and the built environment (C&BE), and lead partner ConstructionSkills is reporting a 300% increase in companies pledging their support.

The total number of construction firms which have committed to deliver the new qualification has risen from 70 to 276.

The Diploma in C&BE, which has been developed by employers, schools, colleges and universities, aims to help young people aged 14 to 19 realise their potential and gain knowledge and skills in a ‘real world’ environment.

It can be taken instead of or alongside GCSEs, A-levels and vocational subjects and it aims to equip students with skills they can apply to the next stage of their development; be that university, college or the world of work.

Nick Gooderson, head of standards and qualifications at ConstructionSkills, said: “We have been inundated with request from firms eager to play their part in training the workforce of tomorrow.

“We have worked hard to achieve this result. ConstructionSkills, the Diploma Employer Champion Network and the C&BE Diploma Engagement Group have all lead active campaigns to recruit more employers.

“Consortia too have rallied support within their local communities and the result is testament to everyone’s dedication, in ensuring that the diploma in construction and the built environment is a success.”

Roy Cavanagh, training manager of Seddon Group and diploma employer champion said: “We are offering work experience placements, on-site and school visits but it’s entirely up to the business how involved they are.

“Firms recognise this is an excellent opportunity to raise their profile within their local communities. It’s also a way of developing new recruitment channels.”

Gooderson added: “We now need to maintain the momentum and ensure that we have even more firms on board by September 2009 when the number of consortia offering the course expands from 44 to 130 and student take-up increases.”

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