Improving our funding

Flexible and Structured Funds are the product of an extensive consultation with industry in 2015. In 2016, we listened to you again to find how we could further improve.

What improvements have we made?

In summer 2016, a year on from when it was first established, we reviewed the Flexible and Structured Funds.

The aim of this review was to improve our distribution of funding to industry, or simply put, to invest your money well.

Skills and training fund option

  • We have increased the opportunities for people to apply by keeping the fund open for most of the year, with scheduled evaluation milestones
  • We have allocated £3m to this fund option for hardest-to-reach parts of our industry, and extended eligible employers to include those with less than 100 employees. 
  • We have increased the funding: up to £10k to those employing less than 100, £7.5k for those employing less than 75, and £5k for those with less than 50 employees
  • We now allow applications from construction federations, of up to £10k to support their members
  • We are focussing on people not claiming a grant(s) by restricting funding from those already approved for other fund options

Improvements to the application form

  • We have reduced the questions asked to four areas: deliverables and beneficiaries, evidence of need, proposed solution, and assessment of alternative solutions
  • We have reduced the number of questions asked at stage 2 and will provide increased support when developing funding agreements
  • We have introduced word counts for answers to reduce the risk of repetition, and encourage focused responses

Refinement of funding options (excluding skills and training)

  • We have moved from four funding windows in a year to three,  increasing the opportunity to apply for projects of significant value
  • We have renamed ‘innovation, pilots and prototypes’ to ‘innovation’ to increase the focus on receiving innovative solutions
  • We have moved the structured funds ‘educational engagement’ and ‘enhanced incentives’ to commissioned fund options, ensuring funds align with industry priorities
  • We have made funding more targeted by developing the commissioned approach, and ensuring that investment decisions are aligned to evidence base and industry priorities

Changes to the fund criteria

  • Collaboration will now be embedded within each project by requiring all applications to have three named, eligible delivery partners
  • Funds available in the ‘innovation’ fund will be streamlined so that £20,000-£500,000 is available to all applicants
  • Funds available within all structured fund options will be £100,000 - £3,000,000 per project
  • Trade unions will be able to participate as a delivery partner rather than as an applicant
  • Training interventions will be required to be accredited so that they are transferrable across industry

Investment funding review

In 2015, we conducted the Investment Funding Review to find out how to improve our skills and training funding for construction employers.

In response to the feedback you gave us in the review, we changed our funding system to make it easier to access and strongly linked to industry’s skills and training needs.

The changes were rolled out over 2015 and 2016, and we are monitoring your feedback throughout this period to improve things along the way.

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