Skills Support for the Workforce

Increasing individual productivity has increased this business' competitiveness

Based in Lowdham, Nottinghamshire, Barnes and West offer a complete service to the major housebuilders for brick and block laying, working with housebuilders to construct the elevation of properties and have some impressive high-end work. With a trading history of over 40 years, Barnes and West have a reputation for delivering high quality work coupled with excellent Customer Service. 

Business owner, Tony Barnes, wanted to upskill employees to increase individual competency levels and further increase productivity, thus enabling a more productive Barnes and West to have a competitive edge over similar regional players.

£17,000 of skills training awarded to help increase individual competencies and gain a competitive edge

Barnes and West

The Construction Skills People (CSP) are an expert training provider, chosen by Serco to deliver the SSW programme in the D2N2 region. As the largest provider to the the UK's construction sector, CSP are equipped to deliver a wide range of vocational qualifications and commercial training courses specifically for the sector.  CSP offer a broad range of NVQs that help clients ensure that they are CSCS and CPCS compliant.

CSP worked with Barnes and West to deliver over £17,000 of funded skills training to their workforce with the aim to upskill internall to increase productivity rates throughout the company. Company Director, Tony Barnes, talks about his experience of engaging with Construction Skills People on the Skills Support for the Workforce programme. 

We employ 10 staff. The training we were looking to arrange for our staff was intended to allow us to offer our newest employees to achieve a formal qualification.

We were made aware of the funding available through the European Social Fund’s Skills Support for the Workforce by Construction Skills People (CSP). After discussing with CSP to see what courses were available, it was then apparent that the funding available through the Skills Support for the Workforce programme could help us deliver the training we needed to support both our staff and our business’s objectives.

It is a constant challenge to keep our prices competitive and with the cost of raw materials on the increase we see the way of being able to respond to our clients’ demands is to make our workforce capable of carrying out more duties on site and thus make them more productive. So we looked at using this funding to help make our workforce more capable and skilled in order to increase productivity.

The delivery of the training was arranged around the needs of our busy working schedules and overall it did not impact on our work schedules as we coordinated it with CSP to ensure that this was not the case.

A total of 2 members of our team undertook training in the following:

  • Level 2 NVQ – Trowell Occupations‚Äč

Outcome and Impact

Tony reflects on the positive impact that funded skills training has had on his business:

This training has allowed these members of staff to increase their skill sets and make them more productive on site. The training has also allowed us to prove to our clients that we continue to invest in staff training and enables our staff to hold the Blue CSCS cards that our clients insist that our staff achieve. 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.

The staff who attended the training all report that overall it was a positive experience and this is reflected in the fact that they are now progressing within the business because they are capable of additional duties which leads to them earning more.

During the programme our staff also benefitted from learning about British values and 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.

Should we have a need for further training, we as a company would like to use the ESF Skills Support for the Workforce programme again and we were also very pleased in the professional way that the training was delivered by CSP.