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Check back here regularly to find out what's going on at NSITG.

The next meeting of the NSITG will be held on Wednesday 11th October 2017 at Sandberg, 40 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0EB at 10:30am.


Anyone wishing to attend future meetings should notify Ian Major at ian.major@stonetrain.org.uk

NSITG AGM and Meeting Agenda - 11th Octo[...]
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NSITG AGM and Mtg Minutes 18th May 2017.[...]
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Trailblazer Apprenticeships


An NSITG and CITB facilitated group of stone sector employers submitted an "Expression of Interest" to BIS for the development of a new Apprenticeship for the natural stone sector. The EOI which was been accepted includes provision for a number of optional pathways reflecting the variety of specialisms within the sector including banker mason, stone fixer (interiors as well as exteriors inc. cladding), memorial mason, facade preservation and heritage mason.


The Government has introduced a review of apprenticeships which was first published in 2013 entitled The Future of Apprenticeships in England: Implementation Plan 3.  Their aim is to grow the number of apprenticeships available, but more importantly, put employers in the driving seat.


Future apprenticeships will be based on standards designed by employers, making them more relevant and thus more attractive to both existing and new employers. Find out more in the powerpoint presentation below.


Following a recent complete review of stonemasonry National Occupational Standards, these have now been aggregated into the stonemasonry pathways specified above and, subject to agreement by employers in the sector, will forn the basis for a discussion with training providers on how these pathways can be taught, and how the end-point assessments can be conducted. They will also be the basis on which Government funding will be established.

Trailblazer Apprentice Standard for Ston[...]
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Trailblazer Apprenticeships(2).pptx
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For the successful development of new "Trailblazer" stonemasonry apprenticeships it is vital that sufficient employers in the natural stone sector are engaged. 


If you would like to attend and have your say on the way forward for apprenticeships in our sector then please email Ian Major at ian.major@stonetrain.org.uk or, alternatively, Michelle Turner at Stone Restoration Services - michelleturner@srslimited.co.uk


CITB Flexible and Structured Funding


The CITB has recently launched a new approach to funding support for training and skills development. The objectives are as follows.


•Enable more employers to access the funding support
•More straightforward to access
•Enable employers and industry stakeholders to access funding for skills, training and/or resources
•Be pro-active and responsive
•Take a forward look– holding reserves when needed for future use
•Both transparent and fair
•Delivers value for money


Subject to the size of your company between £5,000 and £10,000 is available annually.


Ian Major has assisted many companies with successful applications.


The window for applications is open continuously with the next application review point being on 29th May.


For information and assistance on applying to CITB for funding, contact Ian Major at ian.major@stonetrain.org.uk



Specialist Apprentice Programme (SAP) Heritage Skills Level 3 Stonemasonry


An important announcement regarding training and assessment provision.


StoneTrain (the training division of Stone Federation GB) is delighted to announce a new partnership with Building Crafts College, Stratford, London for delivery of the Specialist Apprentice Programme (SAP) Heritage Skills Level 3 Stonemasonry.


Developed by natural stone heritage, conservation and repair experts the Specialist Apprentice Programme involves 20 days of off-site training delivered on a day release basis and for CITB registered companies the programme is fully grant funded. Companies do not have to be Levy payers to qualify for funding support and upon achievement of the L3 NVQ, successful candidates will then be eligible to apply for a CSCS Advanced Craft Gold Card.


The training embraces a wide range of subjects including the historical backgrounds to the materials, tools, equipment and techniques used on stone buildings dating from Roman times through to the present day. Included are the causes of decay of stone and mortar and the failure of stonework, and the appropriate methods of undertaking sympathetic repairs.


Off-the-job training sessions at combined with employer-led, supervised on-the-job practical application of the knowledge gained, candidates will gain comprehensive knowledge of building conservation, repair and restoration. The training modules will be flexible to facilitate the on-the-job demands of the employer’s core work.


In addition to the 20 Day SAP, Building Crafts College will also be able to offer the two Specialist Upskilling Programmes (or SUPs) one of 5 days and a second of 10 days. Both SUPs deliver the same Heritage Level 3 NVQ but recognise that much more experienced candidates require fewer off-the-job training days, An on-line questionnaire and a telephone interview will be used to ensure that all candidates for the SAP or the SUPs are placed on the programme that best suits their needs.


The cost of the 20 Day SAP at Building Crafts College is £3,000 and the minimum CITB Grant available is presently £4,125, though for Levy paying companies fulfilling certain terms and conditions, £5,033 may be available.


The 10 Day SUP costs £1,900 and a minimum of £2,225 of grant funding is available.


The 5 Day SUP costs £1,400 and a minimum of £2,125 of grant funding is available.


Anyone wishing to more about the programmes and/or to register their interest should contact either:


Ian Major, Manager: StoneTrain on 07851 063938 or email: ian.major@stonetrain.org.uk or Nigel Gilkison at Building Crafts College on 020 8552 1705 or email at nigel.gilkison@thebcc.ac.uk


SUP Stone Industry Professional Practice


The Natural Stone Industry Training Group (NSITG) in conjunction with Stone Federation GB has developed a new training course and qualification. Stone Industry Professional Practice comprises approximately eight days of training spread over one year and is principally (but not exclusively) aimed at:


1) Industry new entrants and/or those with a general construction background needing to better understand working with natural stone.

2) Time-served masons/restorers/operatives progressing into management


Candidates who successfully complete this new course will achieve an NVQ Diploma in Level 3 Construction Contracting Operations Site Technical Support and this will allow them to apply for a CSCS Gold Card.


The summary content of the training is as follows:


  • Stone geology plus BSEN Standards, CE Marking and Sustainability
  • Quarrying, mining and initial stone processing inc site visits
  • The Architect’s view plus Drawing and Design best practice
  • Stone fixing inc. Substrates, adhesives, grouts, fixing systems, water management, cavity insulation, paving and flooring
  • The selection and testing of natural stone, fixing systems, cladding, movement joints
  • Understanding natural stone in construction, Codes of Practice
  • Stone fixing site visit
  • Conservation, Restoration and Repair
  • Estimating and Contracts

Training deliverers are long-standing Stone Federation GB members and leaders in their particular fields.


A second fully funded pilot will commence in 2017.

SIPP 2017.pdf
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