Generous funding is still available for plant training courses and employers and trainees should shop around to ensure they get the best deal.
This is the message from Kim Bendzak, managing director with Midlands-based Apple Construction Training, who says that some would-be trainees are being told grants are no longer available and that they must pay for their training in full.
“There are still millions of pounds in funding available, and some grants have actually increased,” Ms Bendzak says.
For example, companies which pay the ConstructionSkills levy can more than double their Level 2 Plant NVQ funding to upskill employees from a Red CPCS card to the Blue card.
Secure additional funding
Most training companies should also be able to secure additional funding on top of this, but not all have been successful in obtaining it and tell would-be customers that they must make up the difference themselves.
“We work with local higher education colleges to offer an additional £500 via the Skills Funding Agency for the CPCS qualification,” Ms Bendzak says.
Training providers that are not registered with the SFA cannot offer this grant. “But there’s no reason why the trainee or their employer should provide that,” she adds.
Although funding is still available, it is a finite resource, according to Ms Bendzak. “Training is really important for individuals and the industry as a whole and people should use the funding that’s available while they can.”