Builders' Merchants News
The clock is ticking for OSAT course funding
Published:  21 June, 2013

As more grants are available for On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) courses, the BWF WITForum is encouraging employers to register candidates quickly as some funding is due to expire by the end of 2013.

The funding is available through BWF, CITB and the government (via Didac). Different courses and levels stipulate the amount of access a learner has to funding and provides a great opportunity for both qualified and non-qualified employees to gain qualifications in their field of work.

BWF’s OSAT scheme can provide in-house training, tailored for each company to enable employees to gain qualifications within the joinery and woodworking sector. Most of the NVQ qualifications are eligible for funding for learners of all ages.

The BWF scheme ensures that training is delivered alongside the assessment process, delivered by the BWF’s preferred training provider, Didac.

OSAT courses cover areas such as:

  • Health and Safety
  • Joinery Management
  • Joinery Manufacture
  • Joinery Supervision and Team Leading
  • Wood Machining.

A £375 grant is available to members of the BWF or WITForum who are not receiving 100% government funding and are in-scope and registered with CITB, thanks to funding secured through CITB’s Qualifying the Workforce fund.

CITB-registered companies can also claim up to £650 per learner once the qualifications have been achieved, through the standard grant scheme.

Government funding is also available for employees aged 19-23, including full funding of Level 2 courses in many cases. In addition, the CITB standard grant is still available to those who have received government funding.

The funding available for these courses greatly benefits companies who want to up-skill their workforce and provides a great opportunity for employees to gain knowledge and new ideas. BWF’s OSAT scheme supports the efforts of the WITForum’s new social media campaign ‘Wow I Made That’, encouraging young people to explore the opportunities of an apprenticeship in joinery.

With another year of struggle anticipated for the construction sector, the woodwork trade is expected to increase its workforce from 262,020 in 2013 to 262,580 in 2017.

Dave Campbell, BWF's WITForum manager, said: "Despite the gloomy figures for the sector as a whole, it is clear that the joinery and woodworking industry cannot be complacent and must seize the opportunity to grow. These figures show we need more people coming into our trade to meet demand, and we are helping to promote this with our latest social media campaign to get more people interested in joining up with the joiners."