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Wales

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

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:
    • Conwy
    • Denbighshire
    • Flintshire
    • Gwynedd
    • Isle of Anglesey, and
    • Wrexham
  • Skills for Industry manages the fund which supports employers in:
    • Carmarthenshire
    • Ceredigion
    • Neath Port Talbot, and
    • Swansea
  • Upskilling@Work manages the fund which supports employers in:
    • Bridgend
    • Blaenau Gwent
    • Caerphilly
    • Cardiff
    • Merthyr Tydfil
    • Monmouth,
    • Newport
    • Powys
    • Rhondda Cynon Taf
    • Torfaen, and
    • Vale of Glamorgan

Getting more business

Cadw

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.

Sell2Wales

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

Business Wales

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.

Championing construction as a career

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.

Visit the BITC website for more information.

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.

Recruitment and retention

Chwarae Teg

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.

Training

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.

Ion Leadership

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

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.

Other support

Qualification Wales

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.

Get details of training groups in Wales.

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.

Forthcoming dates for SkillsCymru:

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.

Trade exhibitions

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:

  • 11 September 2019 at Village Hotel, St David's Park, Ewloe, Flintshire
  • 23 October 2019 at Liberty Stadium, Swansea
  • 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.

There are a number of consultations currently open where construction employers are invited to contribute their views to.

Organisations looking to consult with the construction industry are as follows:

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.

There are currently 12 medium to large scale CITB-funded training projects in Wales.

Find out what construction training projects are being funded in Wales.

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.

Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil

Katie Cole

Photo of Katie Cole

About Katie

Katie has been supporting CITB registered employers since 2016. However, she has been providing support and advice to companies throughout her career.

Katie is Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) qualified and has recently become a Mental Health First Aider. She enjoys helping companies to access the training they need to win more tenders and grow their business.

Contacting Katie

Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan

Suzanne Perkins

Photo of Suzanne Perkins

About Suzanne

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.

Contacting Suzanne

Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen

Helen Murray

Photo of Helen Murray

About Helen

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.

Contacting Helen

Denbighshire and Powys

Emrys Roberts

Photo of Emrys Roberts

About Emrys

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.

Contacting Emrys

Flintshire and Wrexham

Philippa Davies

Photo of Philippa Davies

About Philippa

Philippa is a postgraduate scientist. She has worked in the Construction Industry for 5 years, previously developing construction training programmes with Prince’s Trust and the Traineeship Construction Academy with Coleg Cambria.

Contacting Philippa

Isle of Angglesey, Gwynedd and Conwy

Aled Hughes

Photo of Aled Hughes

About Aled

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.

Contacting Aled

Newport, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire and Torfaen

Owen Stacey

Photo of Owen Stacey

About Owen

Owen has been supporting CITB registered employers across Gwent since 2016. Prior to this he worked on a range of employability and skill development projects in the housing and education sectors.

Currently working towards a Masters in Community Practice, Owen is passionate about helping employers recruit and upskill a local construction workforce.  

Contacting Owen

Swansea and Neath Port Talbot

Alison Rees

Photo of Alison Rees

About Alison

Alison has been working for CITB since 2017 and worked in construction for six years prior to becoming an advisor. She is passionate about ensuring local construction employers are accessing all the support available to them.

Alison is a fluent Welsh speaker and happy to provide a service bilingually to meet customer needs.

Contacting Alison

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:

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:

What is currently happening with CITB apprenticeships in Wales

Apprenticeships are being successfully delivered in Wales and CITB is continuing to support the industry in meeting its apprentice needs. Our support of apprenticeships in Wales saw 84% of starters successfully complete a full apprenticeship framework. We’ve also seen a some growth in more employers taking on an apprentice in the past three years.

Employers have been involved in helping Qualifications Wales shape their review. The result of this review will affect how construction apprenticeships are run. Changes to Welsh apprenticeship qualifications will be introduced in 2021.

In spring 2019, we announced that:

  • we're increasing apprenticeship attendance and achievement grant rates, and
  • we'll be giving additional financial help for apprenticeship travel and subsistence from September onwards.

For 2019, we'll be:

  • working to increase in the number of apprentices joining the Welsh construction industry
  • working to increase the diversity of applicants
  • launching a pilot to help small-medium enterprises (SMEs) take on apprentices.

Please contact one of our apprenticeship officers (see list above) for more information about what we're doing with apprenticeships in Wales.

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