Free funding for small businesses? “It just makes sense”
Small and medium sized businesses across the construction industry are feeling the pressure of rising costs. And that’s why, to cover much-needed training and certificate updates for site staff, SIAD Group worked with their CITB adviser to put in a funding application to support their annual training budget.
Based in Oxfordshire, SIAD Group offers services in commercial and industrial construction, covering everything from demolition to groundworks, and complete building construction. They’re also specialists in industrial roofing and have their own 3D building modelling studio, with a focus on design and visualisation.
Jacqui Quainoo, Finance and Facilities Administrator at SIAD Group, proceeded with the funding application with the support of their regional CITB advisor. She sees training as a way to motivate staff. By developing their skillsets, there’s an increase in overall efficiency, which eventually leads to increased business margins.
Throughout the funding application process, Jacqui was in regular contact with SIAD Group’s CITB adviser.
Jacqui said, “Initially, I had a Teams call with our CITB engagement adviser and they talked through everything and explained how the funding worked - and we went from there.”
“Once completed, I was able to send the form across for them to check before submitting it. And that was really helpful, just in case there was anything that needed changing.”
Funding was useful for a variety of reasons. As well as expanding the team’s skills into new areas, a number of existing staff had certificates that were due to be renewed, and there were new team members who required specific training.
By applying to CITB for funding, SIAD Group was able to cover all three aspects. In total, Jacqui put in an application for £4,936 and was transferred the full amount.
Jacqui said, “If we hadn’t received the funding, we wouldn’t have been able to have as much training as we did, just because of the cost…and the increasing costs of everything else at the moment. But we’ve been able to send our site team on training, which has been really valuable.”
As a result, staff were upskilled in a wide range of areas, from asbestos awareness to telescopic handling, and harness use, to working on mobile elevated platforms. More members of the team are now able to operate highly technical equipment and efficiencies have been made as certain jobs no longer need to be carried out by one or two individuals with the relevant qualifications.
Jacqui says it’s been a huge benefit to the business as, by developing individuals, whole teams have been upskilled and that’s had a positive effect on the wider company.
Would she recommend that other small businesses apply for funding to cover their training costs?
“CITB is there to hold your hand along the journey. If you think the form looks daunting, you’ve got that support the whole way through.”
“Once you’ve completed the application and the training, if you want to go for it again next year, you’re in a better position because you know more… you’ve already used certain training providers, who you’ve built up relationships with. It makes sense just to go for it.”
“We’re going to look at applying again and continuing to liaise with CITB to develop the team further.”
Ready to apply to CITB’s Skills and Training Fund? Contact your CITB adviser today to find out how we can help you cover your staff development costs.
Company: SIAD Group
- Commercial and industrial construction
- Industrial roofing
- Measured survey, design and visualization
Challenge: To cover staff training costs during a time of huge price increases
Solution: CITB advisors provided all the necessary support to submit an application and awarded over £4,000 funding to continue training their staff.
Impact: SIAD Group have motivated staff, formed new links with training providers and strengthened their relationship with CITB
“We’re continuing to liaise with CITB to develop the team further.”
Jacqui Quainoo, Finance and Facilities Administrator at SIAD Group