Specialist Applied-skills Programme (SAP) for Fitout Sector

The National Association of Shopfitters (NAS) has received confirmation from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) that it can begin the development of a specialist applied-skills programme for the sector.

The specialist applied-skills programmes (or SAP, for short) are 18-month long new entrant training programmes, leading to a vocational qualification (NVQ/SVQ), and are considered by trade associations and employers as sector apprenticeships. Currently available SAPs include those covering specialist trades including stone masonry, diamond drilling, and lead roofing.

Development of a SAP is considered by the NAS to be a key enabler to increasing the supply of well-skilled labour, as set out in our 2022 Priorities. It will also increase the return on CITB Levy paid by our members, and unblock the reducing entry points into the sector, caused by declining college provision and courses that do not reflect the trade. It will also start the dialogue around more formalised Apprenticeship schemes, including the eventual formation of a trailblazer group.

James Filus, NAS Director, said: The majority of our members completing our 2022 Training Needs Analysis stated that they have ambitions to hire an Apprentice within the next year, but those plans are being impeded by the current provision. Our SAP will unlock that. It is an ambitious steps for the NAS to take to support and develop the sector, and we are looking forward to getting started.

We will continue to keep our members informed as the SAP development gets underway. In the meantime, if any members have an interest in helping shape the SAP, getting involved as a skills champion, or simply would like to explore employing an apprentice, we would love to hear from you. Please complete the below form to register your interest.