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Construction firms urged not to miss out on EU funding for training

Samuel Riley

Construction businesses across the north west of England are being told to grab their last chance to secure European funding for training.

North West Skills Academy is urging employers in the region to take advantage of the European Social Fund (ESF) Skills Support for the Workforce project. The programme can be used to cover 100 percent of staff training costs, enabling businesses to increase the skills and qualifications of their workforce, improve productivity and help ensure future business growth – but is only available for a very limited time.

North West Skills Academy has been awarded a contract by learndirect to deliver fully funded Level 2 NVQ on site assessments to up to 1,000 employees working in the construction industry in the Lancashire and Liverpool LEP areas. Upon completion, all operatives will be eligible for a Blue CSCS skilled workers card and CITB Levy payers could claim a VQ achievement grant of £400 – £488 per completion. Samuel Riley, director at North West Skills Academy, said: “Skills Support for the Workforce is one of the most important business support programmes we have had in the region, but there are still lots of employers who don’t even know it exists or think it sounds too good to be true. It isn’t.

“Increasing skills is a major factor in growing any business and the wider economy, especially in sectors like construction where there are huge concerns over the widening skills gap. Upskilling your workforce at absolutely no cost is a no brainer. We want to get the message out there that this funding is available – not just for the construction industry but across all priority sectors – before it’s too late.” North West Skills Academy is offering the free assessments across a wide range of construction trade areas, from bricklaying to passive fire protection, plastering and more. Anyone employed or self-employed in the Lancashire or Liverpool area is eligible, and places can be secured by emailing [email protected].

Funded by the ESF via the Skills Funding Agency, the Skills Support for the Workforce programme is designed to deliver workplace learning courses to meet individual, employer, and regional development needs. The full list of assessments North West Skills Academy can deliver is: Stone Mason; Dry Lining; EWI Boarder only; EWI Render only; EWI Boarder and renderer; Groundwork; Tiling; Plastering; Passive Fire; Maintenance; Rainscreen Cladding; Painting and Decorating; Occupations; Kitchen fitter / Bedroom fitter; SFS Erection only; SFS Assembly only; SFS Erection and Assembly; Bricklaying; Site Joinery; and Shop fitting.

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