What's available to construction employers in Wales
There are many organisations that offer funding to grow a business and opportunities to get new business. Support available include:
- Funding to grow a business, recruit or train workers
- Getting more business
Apprenticeship Small Business Employer Incentive Programme
This programme offers some financial support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to recruit apprentices aged 16-19. It aims to provide individuals and employers with the skills needed over the long-term and prevent skills shortages.
The incentive is only available to SMEs who are new to apprenticeships or have not recruited an apprentice in the last 30 months.
For more information, visit the Apprenticeship Small Business Employer Incentive Programme's website.
Cardiff Council workshop and business starter units
New and expanding businesses based in Cardiff can take advantage of one of 9 sites managed by the Economic Development department at Cardiff Council. The sites host 140 workshop units which are available to local businesses to rent with 'easy-in-easy-out' terms.
Units range in size from 120 to 2,000 sq ft with the majority of workshop units designated with a B1 use class.
Visit the Cardiff Council website for details of available units and rental terms.
Conwy Business Grant
This is a discretionary grant to support the growth of Conwy businesses, social enterprises or farm diversification projects.
Grants of between £200 and £1500 are available based on 50% of eligible project costs.
For more information about this grant, visit the Conwy Business Centre website.
Development Bank of Wales
The Development Bank of Wales set up by the Welsh government, offers a range of finance options to help businesses start up, strengthen and grow.
Visit the Development Bank of Wales website for details of finance options available to construction businesses.
European Social Funding
European Social Funding available in all areas of Wales for upskilling the workforce. It is typically used for covering the cost of NVQs via the On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) route.
The funds are managed by different organisations on behalf of the European Social Fund. Support available varies depending on where you are based. Use the following links to find what funding is available to you:
- Busnes@LlandrilloMenai manages the fund which supports employers in:
- Isle of Anglesey, and
- Skills for Industry manages the fund which supports employers in:
- Neath Port Talbot, and
- Upskilling@Work manages the fund which supports employers in:
- Blaenau Gwent
- Merthyr Tydfil
- Rhondda Cynon Taf
- Torfaen, and
- Vale of Glamorgan
Cadw is the Welsh Government's historic environment service. They periodically advertise tenders to provide historic conservation and general construction services.
They also provide the guidelines for restoration and building work on a historic property or area.
Visit the Cadw website for more information about available tenders.
The Sell2Wales portal lists all the public sector contracts in Wales which are open for bidding.
The portal also offers businesses the opportunity to list goods and services available to public sector organisations.
Visit the Sell2Wales website for more information on how to bid for public sector contracts.
There are many organisations in Wales that provide business advice, recruitment and careers support to construction employers. Support services available include:
Business advice and strategy support
Championing construction as a career
Recruitment and retention
Business Wales is a free service that offers impartial, independent support and advice to employers across Wales, regardless if they're new or established business.
Visit the Business Wales website for details of support and services available.
North Wales Business Academy
The academy offers a learning programme which is designed to help construction employers develop a business strategy that grows their business.
The 2-stage programme consists of a series of practical modules led by a business mentor.
Visit the North Wales Business Academy website for details of this programme.
Business in the Community Cymru
Business in the Community Cymru (BITC) brings companies together to tackle social issues. Their programme provides a framework for mutually beneficial long-term partnerships between businesses and schools.
They also support many companies to make volunteering the norm in their workplace.
Education Business Exchange
Career Wales's Education Business Exchange helps pair up construction employers and schools. The aim of the exchange is to give employers the opportunity to work with schools in developing educational programmes related to construction.
Visit the Education Business Exchange website for more details.
Have a Go
The Have a Go initiative offers schools and students a range of interactive and fun activities where they can have a taste of the skills needed for a career in the construction sector.
The programme is seeking construction employers as partners for this initiative
Visit the Have a Go Wales website for more information about the initiative.
Chwarae Teg run the Agile Nation 2 Business Programme. The programme aims to improve business performance through effective recruitment, retention and development of a diverse workforce.
Visit the Chwarae Teg website for more information about this programme.
The Prince's Trust
The Prince's Trust helps young people into education, training and work. They regularly look for businesses to partner with in their programmes, including work placements and employee volunteering.
Visit the Prince's Trust website for more information about how to partner with the trust.
Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC)
The Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) offers bespoke and specialist construction training to all sectors and levels.
The centre's training programme is free to eligible individuals and companies.
Visit the Construction Wales Innovation Centre's website for details of available courses.
The Ion Leadership programme helps develop and enhance the leadership skills of business owners and managers.
They offer practical leadership courses which are designed to help participants learn how to implement the latest thinking, strategies and best practice in their businesses.
Visit the Ion Leadership website for details of available leadership courses and qualifications.
Skills Gateway provides several tools to help employers identify existing and gaps in their workforce's skills so that they can plan training and develop their workers.
Skills Gateway also offers other services and support, such as apprenticeship support and recruitment.
Visit the Skills Gateway website for more information about their services.
Qualifications Wales regulates vocational qualifications in Wales. They work many organisations to monitor the compliance of awarding bodies, review existing qualifications, oversee the design of new requirements and support the qualifications system.
They occasionally consult with construction employers about qualifications needed in the industry.
Visit the Qualification Wales website for more information about their work.
There are 11 construction training groups in Wales covering a broad range of general and specialist construction sectors.
Business networking events, seminars and workshops
The Business Wales Events Finder lists all construction related networking events, seminars, workshops and short courses available to employers in Wales.
Visit the Business Wales Events Finder website to find your nearest business event.
CITB employer events
CITB organises local surgeries where employers can meet their local advisors face-to-face to get advice and support on how to access CITB grants, training support and apprenticeship services.
CITB also organises employer roadshows at least once a year where local employers can network with their peers and get information on CITB's strategic plans for the Welsh construction industry.
See Events for more information including registering to attend one of these events.
Education and skills taster events
SkillsCymru offers people a chance to get first hand information about a career in Welsh construction. This free event has a range of hands-on activities and skills taster sessions, as well as information about further education and training courses needed for a job in construction.
Free training events
Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) offers free training courses to Welsh construction employers and workers.
Visit the CWIC website for more information about available courses.
The Welsh Construction Shows are the largest trade exhibitions in Wales. These one day events also brings together suppliers and trades for a day of networking and business discussions.
Forthcoming show dates:
- April 2020 (exact date to be announced) at Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
For more information about the show and to register, visit the The Wales Construction Shows website.
Labour market intelligence is important for local businesses as well as Regional Skills Partnerships (RSPs). These reports helps them understand where the gaps are in the labour market that they can take advantage of, or need to increase recruitment activity in.
The Welsh Government produces a regular series of regional intelligence reports for the country. These are free to download from from the Business Wales website:
Construction employers in Wales are benefitting from the support and services they're getting from CITB and its partners. The following is the latest selection of success stories from employers across Wales:
- Preserving our heritage skills
Find out how Recclesia, a heritage conservation company in North Wales got funding to train the next generation of conservation trade specialists.
- "It doesn't matter who you are - you can do it!"
Learn how architect and Great British Bake Off star Ruby Bhogal has inspired a new generation of young women to enter construction.
- Funding to tap into new markets
Find out how Harriet Lee Building & Renovation Ltd in North Wales got funding to invest in more training of their workforce so that they could get more work.
- International Women's Day: Encouraging women into construction
Watch highlights of the 'International Women's Day: Encouraging women into construction' event below, featuring several Welsh employers who shared their experiences of the benefits of recruiting women into their workforce.
Local advisors in Wales
CITB has local advisors to help employers access support and services from both CITB as well as other partner organisations in Wales. See below for details of the local advisor in your area.
Isle of Anglesey, Conwy and Gwynedd, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire, Newport, Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend
Since 2010, Aled has been providing support and advice to employers within the construction industry. He is is a qualified careers advisor and is currently undertaking an Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Level 5 qualification in Coaching & Mentoring.
Aled is a fluent Welsh speaker and happy to provide a service bilingually to meet customer needs.
Wrexham, Flintshire, Denbighshire and North Powys
Emrys started working as a Construction Careers Adviser with the CITB in 2011 and has been a CITB Adviser since 2016.
Before joining the CITB he worked for Careers Wales in the North East. Emrys is a fluent Welsh speaker and happy to provide a service bilingually to meet customer needs.
Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire
Helen has been working for CITB since 2016 and has been a long term advocate for lifelong learning and local economic development.
She has experience as a coach and trainer, running businesses and evaluation; and is an advanced Welsh learner.
Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and South Powys
Tel: 07748 238704
Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taf
Suzi has recently joined our CITB team having worked for a large construction company since 2008 managing a regional Social Value and Community Engagement programme.
Suzi is looking forward to supporting our CITB registered employers both large and small across Cardiff and the Vale.
Suzi is a Mental Health First Aider and is also working towards an NVQ/Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Level 5 in Leadership and Management.
Tel: 07770 678353
Partnership managers in Wales
CITB partnership managers are responsible for forming and managing strategic relationships with partner organisations. Our partnership managers also contribute and support the implementation of construction-related policy in Wales.
Our partnership managers in Wales are:
Mark Bodger - Partnerships director for Wales
Contact Mark by Twitter @MBodger
Rachel Ferriman - Partnership manager for West Wales
Contact Rachel by Twitter @ferriman_rachel
Donna Griffiths - Partnership manager for Wales
Contact Donna by Twitter @DonnaGriffiths
Ceri RushJones - Partnership manager for Mid-Wales and North Wales
Contact Ceri by Twitter @CeriCitb
Victoria Walsh - Partnership manager for South Wales
Contact Victoria by Twitter @torswalsh
Claire Williams - Partnership manager for North Wales
Contact Claire by Twitter @CEWatkinWills
In Wales we have a team of apprenticeship officers whose role it is to:
- promote and identify apprenticeship placement opportunities with employers
- support, mentor and monitor apprentices to ensure each of them reaches their maximum potential
- ensure that apprentice well-being is paramount at all times including their health & safety
- act as the main communication point to link apprentices, colleges, employers and parents/guardians.
Information on how to take on an apprentice is available in the CITB Apprenticeships section.
Alternatively, contact your local CITB apprenticeship officer for more details about taking on an apprentice:
Contact your local CITB apprenticeship officer
Cardiff & Vale
Carmarthenshire & Neath Port Talbert
Isle of Anglesey
Merthyr Tydfil & Rhondda Cynon Taf
Neath Port Talbot
North Wales Specialist Occupation
News, events and blogs
Contact a local CITB adviser
CITB Advisers can support you in diagnosing skills gaps, advising on apprenticeships, legislation and training, as well as signposting you to other sources of help and advice.