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BCSA CRAFT scheme will reverse skills shortage

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To alleviate a nationwide skills shortage in the steel construction sector, the British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA) has launched an apprenticeship scheme for its membership covering all aspects of steel fabrication.

Known as the Competence Route of Attainment in a Fabrication Trade (CRAFT), the scheme is proving to be successful as there are currently 14 apprenticeships enrolled with more pending.

“We all know there has been a problem getting skilled workers, but nothing was available that addressed the needs of our industry,” said BCSA Director of Health, Safety and Training, Peter Walker.

“A survey of members in 2011 revealed that less than 2% of BCSA members employees were apprentices and most of the 2% was from the larger member companies.”

CRAFT is a scheme based on the traditional apprenticeships that many people in the industry are familiar with. However instead of employees being sent to a training centre a few days a week, this scheme enables someone new to the industry to be trained and developed over a minimum of two years at the workplace, using the company specific systems and equipment.

“There aren’t enough training centres available for our specific needs,” added Mr Walker. “So by training apprentices in-house we bypass this problem, while the employer gets to see the person being trained and see his/her continual development in the workplace.”

There are a number of recommended training modules in the CRAFT scheme for a fabricator/welder, fabricator or welder. They are detailed in the table below.

For more information on the CRAFT scheme contact Peter Walker, Tel: 07970 463420 or


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