Employees’ Support in Skills’ (ESS) which is part of CSW Groups services for the employed. This service is funded by the European Union via the European Social Fund and Education Skills Funding Agency. ‘Employees’ Support in Skills’ has been designed to target the needs of employees who are over the age of 18 and work for an SME and enables these businesses to gain a free training needs analysis alongside free higher level skills training (level 3 and 4) for their employees.

Trade Assessments Ltd (TAL) is one of CSW Groups’ valued subcontractors delivering on ESS. TAL identified a business that would benefit from some workforce skills support and worked with the Contract Manager to undertake a Training Needs Analysis, where it was identified their workforces training and development needs. In addition TAL recognised four main barriers:

  • The majority of employees have fairly low academic qualifications and have not engaged in significant formal further education since school/college.
  • Access to specialist Civil Engineering training that is available to those working and/or living on the Isle of Wight while holding down fulltime employment is limited
  • Time to undertake off the job training is limited as the workforce work long hours.
  • Many of the workforce were identified as skilled in their occupation but lacked the appropriate skills required.

The employer demonstrated that they were keen to actively support their workforce to undertake continual professional development. This project enabled 17 employees to gain an NVQ level 2 Civil Engineering qualifications and achieve a Co-ordinating & Organising Work Operations in the Workplace unit of the NVQ level 3 Occupational Work Supervision qualification. All beneficiaries plan to at least maintain their competency cards. Some plan to continue with specialised aspects of Civil Engineering training and assessment and progress further within the industry.

Learners feel more competent in their job role, more valued as an employee, are able to undertake a wider range of work activities and have obtained a occupationally recognised competence card that effectively gives them ‘a licence’ to work within the civil engineering industry.

The TAL tutor/assessor advised that he identified and worked with a motivated workforce, he also identified that some beneficiaries show qualities and potential to become foremen and/or leaders.

Crownpark have taken on the TAL assessors’ advice and are looking to work with some individuals to increase their responsibilities into foreman/supervisory roles.