Atlantic Contracts, a specialist carpentry and joinery contractor, employs 64 staff members. The business faces an increasingly hard challenge to replace time-served, highly-experienced staff from a diminishing pool of skilled people who are willing to work in the construction industry. Enter, SSW – who helped upskill new starters to progress and ease their induction phase into the business.
The Construction Skills People (CSP), who deliver training on behalf of Skills Support for the Workforce, worked with the Hertfordshire-based business to use skills training to overcome their challenge to recruit. CSP spoke to Tony Sheehan, Training Manager for Altantic Contracts to reflect on how the SSW programme benefitted the business:
"Atlantic Contracts serve the commercial, educational, healthcare, residential and leisure sectors. Employing 64 staff, we face the increasingly hard task of replacing time-served staff who retire, from a diminishing pool of incoming members of staff who are willing to work in a construction environment.
The training we were looking to arrange for our staff was intended to fulfil two objectives:
- Namely to allow us to offer our newest members to achieve a formal qualification as part of their first-year induction programme
- To allow our existing members of staff the opportunity to continue their continued professional development.
We were made aware of the funded training available through Skills Support for the Workforce by their delivery partner, Construction Skills People. With their help we set about conducting an organisational Training Needs Analysis and this highlighted the need for us to address the issues facing us in relation to our new and existing members of staff.
Flexible, bespoke training to fit around the business' needs:
After working with Construction Skills People to see what courses were available, it became apparent that we could make use of SSW to deliver the training we needed to support our staff and our business objectives.
The programme has allowed 20 members of our site-based staff to receive a range of different training programmes that matched their individual requirements at no additional cost to our business.
The delivery of the training was arranged around the needs of our working schedules with the initial enrolment of our staff taking place in small groups in training rooms on site and overall it did not impact on our work schedules as we coordinated it with Construction Skills People to ensure that this was not the case.
The Impact for Learners and the Business:
The 20 staff who benefitted from the training will achieve a Level 2 NVQ qualification that proves their competence in their particular area of expertise on a construction site.
For many of our staff this is the first experience of learning that they have undertaken since leaving school. Feedback about their experience has been positive, with many of them openly expressing an interest in looking at new courses.
During the programme, our staff also benefitted from learning about British Values & The Prevent programme which opened their eyes to the different forms of radicalisation that exist in the UK today and how they can take steps to both recognise it and act against it.
By delivering this programme of training to our staff, it has also benefitted our relationships with our clients as we are able to provide our staff with the construction industry’s benchmark card scheme, the CSCS card. CSCS cards are seen by our clients as a legitimate way of proving our staff’s skills and knowledge of working safely on site and enable our business to tender more competitively for new projects.
Should we have a need for further training, we as a company would definitely investigate the Skills Support for the Workforce programme to upskill our workforce, benefitting both them and the company.