The sector skills council was responding to fears voiced in the January issue of CM that the “balkanised” state of the industry's training system would frustrate the development of new Green Deal training and qualification packages.
In the article, a source close to the DECC working parties addressing the issue said: “It is an unfortunate and muddied environment where we've got different sector skills councils and awarding bodies for different skills. This will have to... become more joined up.”
But Steve Geary, Skills Strategy Director wrote to CM saying : “It is sometimes easier to have a more coherent skills debate in Wales and Scotland than it is in England where there are a number of different Government Departments that seem to be concerned about employment and skills issues.
“Our Board is up for simplifying the system, but there are others that also need to show the same sort of commitment. Less talk and off the record briefing and more action would suit us.”
Meanwhile, Nick Gooderson, head of training and standards, pointed to the Built Environment Skills Alliance, made up of six sector skills councils with links to the construction and property sector, as the body that would co-ordinate the development work.
Meanwhile, CIOB and other professional bodies will be represented on the Built Environment Awarding Body Forum.
Gooderson said:”Significant developments are taking place already. We've just developed an NVQ for insulation, covering lofts, cavity walls, Internal Wall Insulation and External Wall Insulation.”
He also anticipated the development of new NVQ qualifications suitable for Home Energy Assessors, and in the field of offsite and modular building.
He added that ConstructionSkills had also completed work to update the National Occupational Standards in the light of the Green Deal. The NOS are the basis of NVQs and other vocational qualifications, and will in future also be more closely linked to the CSCS card system.
“In terms of sustainability, there's a perception that 100s of new occupations will emerge. But generally we see it as updating the existing workforce and adapting existing NVQs – for example roofing now has a module on solar panels. All of that is being built into the existing qualifications,” he said.