Published: 17:00, 18 January 2018
| Updated: 17:02, 18 January 2018
Trainees whose courses were suddenly scrapped following the collapse of Carillion have been offered a lifeline by an industry body.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has stepped in to offer support to as many as 130 apprentices from Sittingbourne and Medway who were learning carpentry, painting and decorating and bricklaying at the Carillion training centre in Sittingbourne.
About 40 were at a meeting held at The Coniston Hotel in London Road, Sittingbourne, earlier today.
CITB apprenticeships coordinator Daniel Stone said the organisation had to take “very responsive” action following Monday’s announcement that the company had entered liquidation after failing to reach a deal over its £1.5 billion debts.
The training provider is offering grants and a new £1,000 incentive for employers to take on the former Carillion trainees, consisting of a £500 payment when they accept the candidate and £500 when they complete their training.
The apprentices will continue to be paid by Carillion until the end of January, after which time CITB has offered to help them either complete their training or find a new employer.
Mr Stone told those assembled at the meeting: “It may differ significantly from how Carillion delivered your training but it is going to be the exact same qualification.
“However, we need to find you an employer.”
Helen Sheen, London and Kent area delivery manager for CITB, said: “We have stepped in because we have worked in this field for a long time, we are an Ofsted outstanding provider so we are in the best place to support with this.”
On Monday, trainees were turned away from Carillion training centre on the Trinity Trading estate in Sittingbourne without explanation.
CITB said it hopes to start placing the first apprentices with new employers as early as next week.
It is calling on construction firms, particularly home builders, to rally round and offer placements.
A hotline has been set up for both former Carillion apprentices and employers to get in touch on 0344 994 4010. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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