Construction Skills Fund
The DfE’s Construction Skills Fund (CSF) was a £20m+ fund to help tackle the construction skills shortage, launched by the Skills Minister Anne Milton on the 18th June 2018. Procure Plus was delighted to have been awarded £1.76m from the fund, to support the construction industry from Oct 18 to March 20. In April 2020, a £7.5m, 12 month extension to Construction Skills Fund was announced. PP is one of 14 existing hubs awarded an extension, building on the success of the initial project delivered across
the northwest of England.
Having trained over 13,000 people across England to be ‘site ready’ in round 1 of CSF, the extension will see a further 6,000 people nationally gain the skills needed to start careers within construction, and a min of 3,000 move in to sustainable employment. PP will provide training for 1000 individuals to become site ready, supporting a minimum of 500 in to employment across the region. The CSF extension is a key building block of CITB’s skills stability plan for the post covid-19 construction industry, and Procure Plus is proud to be able to offer the programme to support the industry in building back better.
Whilst seeking to support the construction industry to meet its labour and skills needs, Procure Plus is also using the CSF funded activity to help support local communities and individuals who may traditionally feel excluded from the labour market in general and the construction industry in particular. So far, 53 local community and voluntary groups across NW England are actively partnering with Procure Plus to ensure opportunities are made available to communities who may have been hardest hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Ben* had spent time in custody when he was younger due to an alcohol induce crime which he massively regretted. Ben wanted to turn his life around and become a positive role model for his family but since leaving custody he had found it difficult to secure a role due to his conviction and as a result hadn’t been in secure employment in over 3 years. He was made aware of The Broughton Trust (TBT), a local employment group in Salford which RV helps support, by a friend who had also completed a CSF course with them and subsequently gained employment. Ben
was apprehensive about completing a course when he first went to TBT as he hadn’t been in a classroom setting for a long time but when he met the staff there his initial apprehensions were put at ease as they discussed the support they would give Ben throughout and after
the course to help him gain employment. TBT referred Ben on to a 3-day course which covered Health & Safety L1 and short courses on asbestos awareness and working at heights.
Following the course his advisor at TBT helped him revise for the touch screen test, also funded through CSF, which on successful completion gave him his CSCS card necessary to work on any construction site. On completion of this his advisor was able to look at what employment options were available to him. Through CSF PP has engaged with Spire CS and placed successfully placed a number of candidates there. Spire had a Banksman/labouring position available which Ben was put forward for. TBT helped Brad with interview skills and preparation and his advisor even took him to the interview to ensure he knew where he was going and was able to stay as calm as possible on the morning. Ben was successful in gaining the position and started
on site in less than a month of starting his course! Spires have already put Ben on a course to get his blue card and Ben aspires to get more tickets, he feels positive that he is with a secure company who want to help him progress. Ben said that this opportunity has been a massive difference as he can now provide for his 15-month baby and the job has given him stability, confidence and a routine.
“I can’t thank Procure Plus and Graham enough! It is a brilliant
opportunity, keep doing what you’re doing, you are really helping people”.