THE Construction Skills Fund (CSF) has awarded more than £20m for 26 projects in England to support the development of on-site construction training hubs.

Tasked with tackling the skills shortage to build the homes the country needs, a total of seven infrastructure and 19 housing hubs will train up to 17,000 people.

The aim is that they will become site and employment ready by March 2020.

The 26 projects based across England are all unique in scope and focus on the specific needs of individual project ambitions.

For example, a hub next to Luton airport will train staff to deliver the Luton Direct Rail to Air Transit (DART).

In Hampshire, on-site and off-site venues in key locations aim to provide a geographical spread of training in house building.

The hubs are being funded by the Department for Education and launched by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

The National Federation of Builders has welcomed the targeted approach to specific skill shortages and has said it hopes that the CITB will continue making headway to support other construction roles that are deficient, but not strictly within scope of the CITB levy.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “We can only tackle the construction skills crisis by ensuring that training supports more people into the industry.

“Training hubs are a good way to do that.

“But we must also make sure that trades such as electrical, heating and plumbing are brought into scope of the CITB levy.”