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Contractors in skills funding boost

A major contractors consortium including Costain, Lend Lease and Kier has been chosen among successful bidders for skills funding from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

A total of 34 businesses from 269 applicants have successfully bid to design vocational training programmes they need in order to create tens of thousands of opportunities for young people, business secretary Vince Cable announced today.

Among them are the Construction Employers consortium, which includes Balfour Beatty,Costain, Galliford Try, Kier Group, Lend Lease, Lovell, Vinci, Wates Group and Willmott Dixon.

Further construction firms to win funding include Denne Construction and Spiral Construction.

The companies are among the first round of winners taking part in the Employer Ownership Pilot.

The 34 groups will receive a share of £67 million and will provide matched funding as a requirement of investment worth a combined total of £98m.

Mr Cable said: “On a recent fact-finding trip to Germany I saw first hand how forward-thinking companies were enjoying the benefits of training their supply chain companies, so I am particularly excited that we have received a number of bids to do the same in the UK.

“The breadth and scope of these projects show how central skills are to our long-term competitiveness, across all sectors and in all corners of the country.

“I am delighted that these employers have taken on this challenge.”

The first round of co-investment is expected to generate 11,000 apprenticeships, including 4,400 for 16-18 year olds; 27,000 full-time equivalent non-apprenticeship vocational training opportunities; and 49,000 other learning or training opportunities, including work experience and work placements.

The Employer Ownership Pilot will give businesses access to up to a total of £250m over two years, with more successful bidders being announced in October, and a further bidding round to be launched in the autumn.

Successful bidders confirmed so far:

Agilisys, AJ Woods Engineering, Arla Foods UK, BAE Systems, Berforts Plc with British Printing Industries Federation, British Glass Manufacturers Confederation, Cascade Drinks/Moles Brewery, Academy of Music & Sound, Denne Construction, DENSO Manufacturing UK, Fabricom Oil, Gas and Power, Fix Auto Dagenham, GE Aviation, Goodwin International, Heart of England Attractions, International Paint, Jacobs E & C, Manchester Airport, Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK), Plaisterers Hall, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rolls Royce on behalf of LEEAC, Sembcorp Utilities UK, Siemens, Spiral Construction, WT Johnson and Sons, Timpson Group, Whitbread Group, Langdon Industries, Doosan Power Systems, Midlands Co-operative Society, Energie Group and Construction Employers (a consortium bid including Balfour Beatty, Costain, Galliford Try, Kier Group, Lend Lease, Lovell, Vinci, Wates Group and Willmott Dixon).

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