CITB funding a catalyst to make the change we wanted
Site Managers at Jehu Group were a little hesitant about new training. But when they began learning new skills their feedback, application and the course’s unexpected outcomes were like ‘gold dust’ to the company’s managers.
The Bridgend-based firm received £10,000 from CITB’s Skills and Training Fund in February 2018.
Jehu’s aim was to train 27 Site Managers, enabling them to be more consistent in the application of the firm’s skills systems.
As Gwilym Hughes, HR Strategic Business Manager at Jehu says, some staff were, understandably, a tad sceptical about the new training.
“Some of them hadn’t been in a classroom for years.”
“It wasn’t their usual health and safety mandatory training session; this was different - it was about things they hadn’t had training in before”.
The benefits of training soon became apparent. One highlight was staff being able to share good and bad practice in the training sessions.
“Site managers have quite an isolated role; they don’t see other site managers often,” says Gwilym. “This was a good opportunity for them to get together and discuss their job.”
Feedback showed Managers valued getting together and learning off one another. This was an unexpected, successful outcome of the project.
The trainers noted negative things that were mentioned on the course, the difficulties faced and fed this back to directors. This feedback was like gold dust to them.
When meeting with directors, staff wouldn’t feel comfortable disclosing this information, even though it was most valuable to them. In this way, the training opened up a new channel of communication.
“The Skills and Training Funding acted as a catalyst for us to make the change we wanted to see in the training we deliver”, says Gwilym.
“We collaborated with Workforce Development Wales, our partnered training organisation, to develop a programme based on our key requirements for site managers.”
Jehu designed modules for this course which catered for their needs. Modules varied from leadership standards to quality assurance, and from collaborative planning to project timing plans. Each module is a day in length.
“We ran a module a month; the delivery was a combination of Workforce Development Wales and people at Jehu. For example one of our site managers has good skills in quality assurance procedure, so he helped deliver that training module. This made it even more focused on Jehu staff and encouraged sharing of experience and knowledge.”
Jehu are running the course again this year; the company is expanding with new staff so Jehu will be running the training alone with the learnings from last year. Not only this, but a shortened version of the course modules will be delivered to Jehu’s sub contract supply chain.
“This will make them aware of our processes and systems so they can work with us more closely and to develop them as well,” says Gwilym. “This is something we know CITB value – feeding through the supply chain.”
The course is extremely valuable to Jehu, as it is bespoke to them. “It was exactly what we needed,” says Gwilym, “but it also covers things that most construction companies or sites would need across the modules so we can share it out”.
“In the future, we may look to run it with people who aren’t site managers. Some modules, like leadership could be of value to other parts of the company.
“This started off as a site orientated training course but it is gone on to be something more far reaching in the company.”
Jehu heard about the Skills and Training Fund from their CITB Advisor. Advisors support the companies to identify and meet their training needs through CITB grants and funding.
“We will keep on applying for the Skills and Training funding, we already have some exciting projects in the pipeline with the help of CITB funding. We will be training workplace champions. Mainly in structured problem solving as a business. Varying in size, with small issues up to big business decisions like managing the amount of waste the company uses.”
“My advice to any construction company regardless of size is to get on the CITB website or get in touch with your CITB Advisor and look into the funding. CITB try to make it as easy as possible to give funding so take advantage of it!”.
More information can be found on the Skills and Training Fund.
Company: Jehu Group
Sector: Jehu specialise in commercial, residential construction and sustainability.
Challenge: To make skills among the firm’s 27 Site Managers consistent.
Solution: Jehu applied for £10,000 from CITB’s Skills and Training Fund in February 2018.
Impact: Feedback showed Managers valued getting together and learning off one another. This was an unexpected, successful outcome of the project. The trainers noted negative things that were mentioned on course, the difficulties faced and fed this back to directors.