Proposed changes to end point assessment for ceilings and partitions

Proposed changes to end point assessment for ceilings and partitions

Following consultation with employers and NOCN the proposed End Point Assessment (EPA) practical element for Ceilings and Partitions is unworkable and some changes need to be made.

The findings were that each element, (core qualification and specialist option) should realistically take 10 hours each for a pass and an additional 8 hours for a merit to be completed over a 3-day assessment period.

In order for NOCN (National Open College Network) to apply to IfATE (Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education) for a dispensation to increase the time from the current completion time of two days to three days and to cover the areas taken out of the practical by questioning, we need the support from employers to confirm this will meet the needs of the sector.

If you are able to support this or would like further information, please contact Beena Nana by 24 May.

Skills Hub

The Skills Hub brings together details of courses specific to the finishes and interiors sector, making accessing and booking training quick and easy. In addition, it provides information on sector careers, apprenticeships and funding, as well as access to e-learning, CPD and other training.

CITB to review the Plastering National Occupational Standards

CITB to review the Plastering National Occupational Standards

CITB is looking for plasterers or construction employers in the plastering industry to help shape the future of this occupation. Individuals will join CITB’s Plastering – National Occupational Standards (NOS) review group to:

Develop NVQ and SVQ qualification structures for Plastering

Ensure your employer voice is heard

Shape the future of the Plastering

If you are interested in getting involved, complete this short form to register your interest or contact

For more information please visit National Occupational Standards (NOS) – CITB

Join the Go Construct STEM Ambassador Programme and Make a Difference in the Future of Young Minds!

Join the Go Construct STEM Ambassador Programme and Make a Difference in the Future of Young Minds!

Do you have a passion for inspiring and guiding young minds towards a brighter future? Then becoming a part of the Go Construct STEM Ambassador programme could be the perfect opportunity for you!

By participating in their webinar, you’ll gain insight into the work that Ambassadors are already doing, and how you can contribute to this inspiring initiative. You’ll also be introduced to STEM Learning, and have the chance to ask any questions you may have.

On top of that, you’ll receive a step-by-step guide on how to register as a Go Construct STEM Ambassador, and a live sign-up will also be available during the webinar.

Contact Marie Flinter at for the link to your preferred session. There are webinars running on:
Thursday 18 April  – 10am/11am
Tuesday 21 May – 10am/11am

Don’t miss the chance to make a difference in the Finishes and Interiors Sector

FIS attends SME Connect with Prime Minister

FIS attends SME Connect with Prime Minister

FIS CEO, Iain McIlwee was a guest at the Government’s Business Connect Conference this week where The Prime Minister announced a reform package to support small businesses.

Key announcements include: 

  • From 1 April, the Government will fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses by paying the full cost of training for anyone up to the age of 21.
  • The amount of Apprenticeship Levy funds that employers can transfer to other businesses will be increased from 25% to 50%.
  • The Government will increase the thresholds which determine whether a company qualifies as a small or medium‐sized company by 50% and remove a number of reporting requirements.
  • New taskforce to be established to boost private investment in women-led businesses and make the UK the best place in the world to be a female founder.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“Whether it’s breaking down barriers and red tape for small businesses, helping businesses hire more young people into apprenticeships and skilled jobs or empowering women to start up their own businesses – this government is sticking to the plan and leaving no stone unturned to make the UK the best place to do business. Taken together, these measures will unlock a tidal wave of opportunity and make a real difference to businesses and entrepreneurs across the country.”

Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan said:

“This Government has built a world-leading apprenticeship system from the ground-up – with apprenticeships now available in around 70 per cent of all occupations. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for businesses to develop the skills they need, and these new measures will help more businesses and young people benefit from them.  Our plan to deliver a high-growth, high-skilled economy is working, with more opportunities available to young people than ever before.”

Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch said:

“Almost every job in the UK is owed to what is, or what previously was, an SME. They are the engines of economic growth for this country..   Whether it’s through cutting red tape, unlocking investment or lowering business costs, today’s announcements show that this government is committed to doing all it can to turbo-charge SMEs so that they can go further and faster than ever before.”

FIS CEO, Iain McIlwee responded:

There were some positives to take away from Monday, but I am not convinced that the new apprenticeship fund is a game changer. It does, however, simplify the funding mechanism for apprenticeships – that is a good thing. The focus on women in business is important, but the discussion on finance was sadly quite remote for construction and I am not convinced will bring us anything tangible.

My underlying concern is that we are in election season now, we are getting sweeties and headline grabbing policies when we need vision and a clear plan. We have a failing housing strategy, we have dwindling numbers of trade apprenticeships and finance for construction is in short supply.

Construction is a key enabler and fundamental driver for economic growth. This was a good opportunity to raise questions and encouraging attempt by Government to engage with business discuss SME support, but came up a bit short for me. We need a clear long-term economic strategy that we can buy into and plan around. We also desperately need procurement reform to support SMEs in construction and free up investment”.

FIS CEO Iain McIlwee’s comments at the conference were covered in this Financial Times Article

See the FIS Manifesto for Construction Here

NVQ Level 2 Training for FIS members in Manchester

NVQ Level 2 Training for FIS members in Manchester

Attention FIS Members in Greater Manchester,

Are you interested in NVQ L2 training for your employees or LOSC? DMR, an FIS Approved Training Provider, offers fully funded courses.


  • Candidates must be over 19 years old with 2 to 3 years of experience in the relevant trade for the NVQ they choose.
  • Candidates must have a Greater Manchester residential postcode.

This qualification will help your employees obtain their Blue Skilled Worker CSCS Card. Keep in mind that grandfather rights will end by the close of 2024.

The Construction Leadership Council is implementing Industry Accreditation changes by 31 December 2024 to ensure a competent and correctly carded workforce.

For further details, please contact

Fit-out Futures

Fit-out Futures

The ‘Fit-Out Futures’ group is a new network being launched by FIS to encourage and empower change by capturing and enhancing the thoughts, ideas and energy of the rising stars and those from diverse backgrounds within the sector. The Group will operate as a dynamic network that connects those from diverse backgrounds and younger people working in the community to share experience and add their insight into the work of FIS.

The group will be a platform for action; looking to harness ideas to help us evolve and ensure that we project a sector that is modern, responsive, inclusive and attractive to work in. Ultimately the programme will be determined by the group, but initially FIS Team will organise a number of meetings and events (physical and online) throughout the year.  Anyone wishing to join the Fit-Out Futures group should contact Michelle Armstrong

How the network will work:

How will we get things going

To kick things off we will host an initial round table meeting, drawing together key individuals from across the supply chain.  The aim of this meeting will be to introduce the concept of the Working Group and give those joining an opportunity to raise your ideas for shaping the future with like-minded people intent on making a difference.

Group Objectives:

  • Create a network that connect those from diverse backgrounds and help individuals improve their networks
  • To help promote and amplify positive initiatives and get the weight of FIS behind them
  • Ensure all voices in our community are heard and FIS activity reflects their needs
  • To be custodians of the FIS Respect Policy and ensure FIS events are designed to support all in the community
  • Tap into new perspectives to confront challenges and drive change
  • Harness ideas to support sector recruitment, school and college engagement etc