ECITB announces £5m training boost for graduate engineers

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The ECITB has announced a £5 million programme to support leadership and management training for graduates embarking on engineering construction careers.

The ECITB has launched its new Graduate Development Grant programme in response to calls from employers and government to ensure new graduates entering the industry have the know-how to take on key roles in the workplace. The scheme will support more than 150 individuals each year with each graduate receiving £12,000 over three years.

Graduates can undertake training against a variety of learning objectives, including in project management, commercial awareness, leadership and report writing. 

The grant system for graduates is similar to the way the ECITB provides support for employers to recruit apprentices. In addition, the grant also supports engineering graduates being developed against the Engineering Council Standard for Professional Engineering Competencies, which means companies can use their own training schemes as well as ECITB-designed programmes. 

A number of employers have already started to take advantage of the Graduate Development Grant, with approximately 130 graduate recruits from 20 companies supported by the scheme at the start of 2020.

Chris Claydon, chief executive of the ECITB, said, “Across the engineering construction industry, there is both a need to recruit and train the highly skilled workforce of the future and also to round off individuals’ academic learning with the soft skills required by employers.

“We have listened to calls from industry employers to fund graduate training in a similar way to apprenticeships, and we are proud to support the investment employers make in their new recruits.”

The Graduate Development Grant is the first of a number of initiatives set out in the ECITB’s new business plan. The plan, published in January 2020, follows the decision by employers in October to approve the ECITB’s three-year strategy, Leading Industry Learning 2020-202 , and the proposal to raise the industrial training levy.

The new business plan sets out how the ECITB will meet its objectives for the next three years and help address the major challenges facing the engineering construction industry. This includes the need to deliver £600 billion-worth of major infrastructure projects over the next decade, replace an ageing industry workforce and support the transition to a net zero carbon economy.