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£140 MILLION AVAILABLE TO HELP CONSTRUCTION FIRMS TRAIN THEIR PEOPLE

Campaign challenges employers to find out why “Training is good for business”

29 June 2007

With the incentive of a record £140million in CITB-ConstructionSkills Grants available this year, construction employers are being encouraged to develop their workforce and improve their business through quality training.

The record level of training grants available from 1st August 2007, is a marked increase on the £113million distributed in the 2006 financial year, which saw over 20,500 employers benefit.

The increase in funds available follows industry consultation which identified key areas where grant is most needed and where the Grants Scheme could be simplified to make it more accessible to employers.

Employers benefit most from a longer term approach to training so grants to encourage firms to develop their people in a planned, structured way have increased in value. The level of grant available to support apprentices has also been significantly increased to help more employers recruit and train the next generation of skilled construction workers. This follows the Government’s announcement earlier this year that it wants more young people to continue in training and education to the age of 18.

CITB-ConstructionSkills Grants are available to support a wide variety of training within the industry, covering key initiatives such as qualifying existing workers, improving health and safety, and training new recruits. With a Training and Development Plan in place, firms can claim grants for training in many disciplines that benefit their business, not only construction-based programmes but also computer skills, accountancy and administration. In 2006 around 4,100 construction employers invested in the longer term development of their workforce through adopting a Training and Development Plan.

Mark Farrar, Corporate Services Director at ConstructionSkills, is urging employers to take advantage of the grants on offer early to avoid missing out:“Increasing the number of companies investing in training is vital to improving the industry’s performance. Grants support employers investing in high quality training, and for every £1.00 of Levy received in 2006 the industry received £1.90 in total benefits. ConstructionSkills continues to work hard to maximise its income so we can give as much value back to industry as possible.

“With our Company Development and Training Advisers based across England, Scotland and Wales and more than £140million in grant support available, there’s never been a better time to consider your firm’s training needs and to make the most of the support on offer. Training is good for business and it’s good for the construction industry as a whole.”

Gary Butcher, Managing Director, Angel Interiors, explains:

“We claim CITB-ConstructionSkills Grant to help fund training, and as a result, we get well-trained highly able staff - and we retain them too, as they are happy that we are investing in their skills and their careers. Running a successful business puts a high demand on my time but the Grant gives me a quick and simple way to access the funds I need to develop my staff. Each year the grant available has grown and this has allowed our business to grow”.

A booklet summarising this year’s Grants will be mailed to all construction employers registered with CITB-ConstructionSkills in the first week of July, along with information on the benefits of training and the types of support on offer.

CITB-ConstructionSkills Grants are available to employers who are in scope to, and registered with CITB-ConstructionSkills when the appropriate conditions are met.

For full details and terms and conditions of the Grants visit www.cskills.org/grant which from the 1st of August 2007 will contain the latest information on the 2007/2008 Grants Scheme. Registered employers can also request a report of their Grant transactions online at www.cskills.org/grant.

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