North West Skills Academy urges construction firms not to miss out on European training funding

With the construction sector facing a skills crisis, the North West Skills Academy is urging firms in the region not to miss out on their last chance to secure European funding for training.

The academy, which specialises in upskilling the construction industry, is calling on employers to take advantage of the European Social Fund (ESF) Skills Support for the Workforce project.

The programme can be used to cover 100 per cent of staff training costs, enabling businesses to increase the skills and qualifications of their workforce, improve productivity and help ensure future business growth – but is only available for a limited time.

North West Skills Academy has been awarded a contract by learndirect to deliver fully funded Level 2 NVQ on site assessments to up to 1,000 employees working in the construction industry in the Lancashire and Liverpool LEP areas.

Upon completion, all operatives will be eligible for a Blue CSCS skilled workers card and CITB Levy payers could claim a VQ achievement grant of £400 to £488 per completion.

Samuel Riley, director at North West Skills Academy, said: “Skills Support for the Workforce is one of the most important business support programmes we have had in the region, but there are still lots of employers who don’t even know it exists or think it sounds too good to be true. It isn’t.

“Increasing skills is a major factor in growing any business and the wider economy, especially in sectors like construction where there are huge concerns over the widening skills gap. Upskilling your workforce at absolutely no cost is a no brainer.

“We want to get the message out there that this funding is available – not just for the construction industry but across all priority sectors – before it’s too late.”

North West Skills Academy is offering the free assessments across a wide range of construction trade areas, from bricklaying to passive fire protection, plastering and more.

Anyone employed or self-employed in the Lancashire or Liverpool area is eligible, and places can be secured by emailing

Funded by the ESF via the Skills Funding Agency, the Skills Support for the Workforce programme is designed to deliver workplace learning courses to meet individual, employer, and regional development needs.

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