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Expansion of On Site Assessment and Training in Construction 29 July 2006

The Department of Trade & Industry is continually examining ways to improve methods used to train and assess craftsmen as a key part of the development of vocational skills training in the Isle of Man.

The nationally recognised qualification across the majority of economic sectors is a National Vocational Qualification or NVQ. The core requirement of these qualifications is that the individual has their competency assessed against a recognised standard and that the evidence to conduct the assessment can be found in their everyday duties.

The nature of these awards presents us with an opportunity to introduce On Site Assessment and Training (OSAT).

Generally, in order for an Assessor to confirm the competence of an individual, there has been a need for significant ‘portfolio’ evidence plus attendance at College to demonstrate the skill in a simulated environment.

With the advent of OSAT, the individual will still maintain a portfolio of evidence and previous experience, but their work will be assessed as they perform it within the real working environment. The main advantage of this system is that it eliminates the repetition of certain tasks, purely for assessment purposes, saving time and money for both the employer and those responsible for assessment.

The Department has recently entered into a Service Level Agreement with the Isle of Man College for the provision of OSAT for roofing and plastering apprentices which will mean that, rather than training on the job for three years and sitting a final skills test, there will now be continual assessment provided during the length of the training agreement. This will also provide the individual with a nationally recognised qualification following the completion of their apprenticeship, which is a significant step forward in recognising the skills of the local workforce.

The introduction of OSAT for other craft areas is being investigated by the Department and the College, and it is hoped to be able to apply a similar approach to other training programmes in due course.

Minister for Trade and Industry, Alex Downie, MLC, said “The DTI is continually striving to expand vocational training provision across all sectors of the workforce and to minimise the disruption to employers of formal training and assessment requirements. I am delighted to see such a coordinated approach to introducing an initiative that will benefit both employers and trainees.”

For further details contact:

Mr Alex Downie, Trade & Industry Minister, phone 682394, email

Mr Steve Woodward, Group Manager – Training & Employment, DTI, phone 682380, email

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