BIM training set for cash boost

Construction businesses in Essex could be in line for a £4,000 boost to help them employ and train young people into digital technology roles.

Digital Skills for Growth, which was launched on 14 August, is an Essex Employment and Skills Board programme, run by Essex County Council, which aims to support the growth of local businesses by improving digital technology skills – such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) – within their workforces.

BIM provides a digital 3D image of a building through each phase of construction, which enables architects, contractors and other parties involved to identify potential obstacles that might occur during the build and make changes before work starts. The process can save significant amounts of money in the long term by improving the ability to keep projects within budget, ensure on-time delivery and avoid unforeseen setbacks.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, the council’s cabinet member for economic growth and infrastructure said: “There is a significant shortage of people with digital technology experience within Essex and the demand for these skills is high. This programme is a step in the right direction in tackling this shortfall. Not only are we helping young people into jobs, we are enabling businesses to move with the times, get digital and ultimately grow.”

Digital Skills for Growth aims to support enough businesses to assist 70 young people aged 19-24 into jobs. Businesses that make successful applications will receive financial support of up to £4,000 per young person recruited as part of the programme to help with training in areas such as computer aided design, computer programming and systems architecture.

The scheme is open to businesses located within Greater Essex, including the Southend and Thurrock council areas but excluding London boroughs. They must be trading and operate in the construction, advanced manufacturing, care, creative industries, health, IT and technology or logistics sectors.

Businesses can recruit a new young person or appoint a young person in the last three months of their fixed term or temporary contract, including an apprenticeship, who they would like to train further so that they can take on a new position.

Employers can choose any advanced digital technology courses and any training provider, either inside or outside Essex, up to the value of the £4,000 maximum grant. More information and application forms are available here.

BIM is set to become an integral part of architecture, design and engineering, supporting the UK in maintaining its position as a leader in sustainable construction solutions. In 2016, the government will require fully collaborative 3D BIM – with all-electronic project and asset information, documentation and data – as a minimum requirement on all government projects.

As BIM continues to evolve, and more construction sector businesses adopt the approach, Palmers Solicitors can advise and assist with related issues, including commercial agreements. For more information, please contact Adam Davis.