Companies failing to take advantage of funding for training
Millions of funds are available for training in the construction sector, but employers, especially SMEs are failing to take advantage of this money.
That was the view of Kim Bendzak, managing director of Apple Construction Training, who believes that businesses need to act urgently if they are to reap the benefits of the new infrastructure projects set to unveiled in the Chancellor's autumn statement yesterday.
Bendzak believes that British construction could be facing a skills shortage that could threaten the future of the industry if more is not done to raise awareness of the funding available for training and more advice provided to businesses on how to go about securing this money.
"A properly skilled workforce is not only essential for the health and safety of any plant, but vital if we're to get the construction market out of recession and produce high quality infrastructure," said Bendzak.
"Construction output is at its lowest since 1999 so the Government's announcement in the Autumn statement is positive for the industry but without a skilled workforce, any development will be hampered as employers won't be ready to take advantage of any work that comes through.
"Employers, especially SMEs, are facing tough times; having to balance the cost of training - up-skilling and re-training employees or training new staff - against an uncertain and volatile market and getting funding for training could therefore be a lifeline for many businesses but we are finding that few are aware of the grants available, or know how to go about accessing them.
"The industry and Government needs to work together to raise greater awareness among businesses of the financial support available with details on how to go about applying for these grants. There also needs to be an assessment on whether there is enough money in the training pot to cope with these new infrastructure projects to ensure we have enough of the right type of skilled workers in place."