« BackNews ( In The Media )
29th Mar 2017
By JACKIE MAGINNIS of The Modular & Portable Building Association
THE MODULAR & PORTABLE BUILDING ASSOCIATION (MPBA) is the representative body looking after the interests of the modular industry and is delighted that working with CITB there is now a Level 2 NVQ Diploma – Innovative/Modern Methods of Construction – available for the industry sector.
The in-company training scheme enables employers to train their employees via in-company/on-the-job training, where no accessible off-the-job training exists. This scheme is designed for operatives without existing knowledge and is available not just for new employees but also for employees who are upskilling from another role. There are also no age restrictions for candidates.
The training follows a structured but flexible bespoke on-the-job modular training programme developed by CITB and industry association members and is mapped against the units within the relevant occupational vocational qualification training programmes.
The scheme will enable learners to put their new skills into practice as quickly as possible and improve their work performance. For the employer, this improvement will result in increased availability of skills and productivity with less lost time from the workplace. The end result will enable candidates to obtain a new CSCS card.
To further assist the promotion of this training the MPBA has arranged for industry assessors to be trained from within the industry. It is supported by NSAC with training starting early in 2017.
This has become even more important as, going forward, industry cards for this sector gained under ‘Grandfather Rights’ will not automatically be renewed, applicants will have to gain an NVQ within 12 months of their renewal application.
Other training for electrical competence is also available – developed by the MPBA, endorsed by ECA and leading to a JIB/ECS card. This scheme has been in place since 2010 and many operatives have now obtained the JIB card. Once again, proving the industry sector is continuing to improve standards and safety.
Like all sectors of industry we are suffering from the effects of an aging workforce and are hoping to encourage younger people to join an interesting innovative industry that has been in existence since 1938.
Today the industry is not all about providing construction site accommodation – albeit that is still very much part of what is required – as education, health and commercial markets are turning more and more towards modular buildings. The reasons are many, but the most important factors are speed, quality, versatility and cost. There are now modular buildings that the public use daily but, due to the clever design and quality, are difficult to identify.
Like all industries over the years we have suffered with the global recession, but we have survived and today there is undoubtedly a confidence in the market place. Members have full order books and long may it continue. The lean years have made us a stronger sector, working together to command a better market share.
As the industry trade association we work with the Department for Communities and Local Government and other controlling bodies on regulations and legislation.
The association continues to work with members to develop guidance documents that help the industry to further improve the professionalism of the sector. Our aim is to get rid of the view that lingers in the minds of many that we still produce ‘prefabricated site huts of the 50’s’.
This is definitely not the case. Many examples can be found on the MPBA web site at www.mpba.biz of the quality products that are produced by our members.