Last updated: 16.01.14

Training grants available in construction sector

Construction firms in the north-west of the UK are being urged to make use of training grants rewarding their commitment to upskilling.

In December 2013, more than 1,500 employers received financial support from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in the shape of the Exceptional Training Grant (ETG).

According to recent data from the Office for National Statistics, the industry faces a skills shortage, with 20 per cent of construction employees set to retire in the next ten years, reports the Lancashire Evening Post.

This is what has inspired the CITB to launch the grant, and could save the sector from falling behind.

Businesses that apply for the ETG will benefit from assistance in providing staff training, as well as cash towards the cost of various qualifications and development.

The £30 million initiative hopes to incentivise proper training and reward companies that offer ongoing workplace education.

Douglas Matthew, head of levies and grants for the CITB, said the aid could help out with a wide range of training and qualifications, including apprenticeships, management courses and other schemes.

He added: "These grants contribute towards the costs of training and recognised qualifications to ensure the long term growth and development of skills in the industry."

The ETG is based on a percentage of all grants claimed by firms, and will apply to any training programmes undertaken in the 2013/2014 Grants Scheme year. Participating firms will be paid in December 2014.

Companies that wish to find out more about the support available to them can do so by visiting the CITB website or getting in touch with the organisation directly.

They should also turn to the services of Virtual College, an e-learning provider based in West Yorkshire that boasts a variety of online solutions designed to make training employees more engaging and flexible.

More than one million people are registered to use its learning facilities, which are designed to enhanced regular training and provide bosses with a more cost-effective educational model.