In an environment where the legislative demands are constantly growing, construction companies must be able to meet increasing calls for evidence of health and safety knowledge and compliance.
Often working in potentially dangerous environments, employees require a special set of skills to ensure they meet and exceed site safety requirements and produce the best work possible. Where requirements can’t be met by the team, businesses regularly hire in the skills they need.
This was the case for Knaresborough-based, medium-sized construction and engineering company, SB Utilities. Team members regularly completed a variety of training courses as the sector is technically complex however, the team had some gaps in training which meant the business had to hire in certified staff on occasion.
Managers at the company were also looking to develop staff and promote from within. They had a number of employees who were keen to enhance their professional development and were already being considered for promotion, but they needed further training on supervisory and management aspects of the new role and were looking to gain higher level qualifications.
The company was also keen to demonstrate to potential clients that it possessed in-depth management ability, as well as the necessary operational and technical skills.
The business managers approached the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) project, which offers fully-funded training courses to employees of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to explore the opportunities available to them.
The programme, which supports business looking to grow, is available to SMEs seeking non-compulsory, work-based training, and the cost is co-financed through the European Union’s European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.
Following an initial conversation, a detailed skills analysis of SB Utilities was required and was undertaken by HR Training & Development Ltd, one of the registered training providers for Calderdale College, which oversees the delivery of the SSW programme. This skills analysis session involved both parties working together to develop a tailored training programme; establishing which staff were to attend the course and how and when the training would work best around the needs of the business.
Following the session, two members of SB Utilities staff were enrolled onto a higher level, week-long Site Management and Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) course. The course covers all relevant legislation and environmental and welfare best practices, which affects all those working in the building, construction and civil engineering industries.
Darren Swales at SB Utilities comments: “The occupational health of employees is foremost at any time, and is a crucial factor in our training needs and the business is committed to provide training and safe working areas for everyone
The SMSTS training meant that we could promote from within, giving our staff a sense of satisfaction as well as benefitting the business as we no longer need to hire in certified staff and can now bid for bigger contracts.
“Having certified staff also means that we can run construction sites more effectively and demonstrate to clients that we have management ability as well as technical skill. We’ll be benefitting from this training for years to come and even those who didn’t attend the course will benefit from being in an environment that exhibits best practice at all times.”
Having completed the Site Management and Safety Training Scheme, the two employees and the construction sites are already benefitting.
At the time of writing, one staff member has been promoted to Contracts manager and others that completed the course are working towards a promotion. Learners can now implement all health, safety, welfare and environmental legislations as well as guidance and industry best practice.
Ebrahim Dockrat, External Funding Director of Calderdale College, the main contractor for Skills Support for the Workforce, highlighted the benefits of the project: “By training your staff, you can improve your ability to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment, nurture a leadership team for the future and make you an employer of choice for emerging talent. The SSW programme has a wide range of flexible, bespoke training plans designed to help businesses grow.
“The training is funded with European money, so this is the last project of its kind. With funding only available until March 2019, it’s a case of get it whilst you still can.”
For more information on the Skills Support for the Workforce project and to see if your business is eligible for fully-funded training, click here
It's not too late for businesses to sign up to the Calderdale Skills Forum this Thursday 8th March. If you're a levy-paying employer, you can register here... https://t.co/FJjPXnNFyC
Would you like advice on how to benefit from the Apprenticeship Levy? We're here to help! Attend our free event exclusively for levy-paying businesses in Calderdale https://t.co/FJjPXnNFyC https://t.co/SWMOQ7v7eC