The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) has begun to give out around $50,000 worth of grants for employers within the construction industry.
This is the second year the BCITO has offered the grants, which were established to help employers in New Zealand’s construction sector develop and expand their businesses and assist them in providing ongoing investment in training.
Simon Brown of Waiuku’s Simon Brown Builders is the first to receive one of this year’s 15 grants, worth up to $3450.
Once a farmer and a minister of the church, Mr Brown is now running his own building company. He is intent on furthering his knowledge within the construction industry by employing a business coach to assist with the development of his company.
He believes as the construction industry becomes more competitive, it is important to keep up with the changes.
“You’ve got to keep pace, or you’re just going to turn into a dinosaur. It’s important to keep upskilling yourself all the time,” he says.
“The business coach is helping us to upskill in our business procedures. We need to do this in order to stay ahead of the market, so when I saw the opportunity for a grant, I jumped at it.”
BCITO chief executive Ruma Karaitiana is pleased the first grant has been collected, and urges more employers to apply.
Great way to upskill building industry
“This is a great way to help upskill New Zealand’s building industry, increase productivity and gear up for future demand. We hope employers will see the value in the grants and utilise this opportunity,” Mr Karaitiana says.
“The uptake of these grants is testament to the professionalism of those in the construction sector who are eager to further their knowledge and expertise within the industry,” he says.
Mr Brown says the application process for the grant is simple and worth applying for. He is already experiencing the benefits of the coaching.
“It’s been fantastic, and really eye-opening. I am in partnership with my son, and our business coach is really getting us working and channelling our energy in the right direction,” he says.
“Having a plan is helping us greatly. It helps us to know where we’re going. When we come into work in the morning, we know what we’re about. But this is a long-term approach. In building terms, we’re working on the foundation that we’re able to build the business on.”
Any employer of a current BCITO trainee can apply for the grant.
Simon Brown Builders currently has one BCITO apprentice on board, with two more preparing to get started. Mr Brown is passionate about working with young people, and says it is a great way to build a team. Grant recipients can select any training or development assistance which best suits their personal or business development needs.
Some examples include:
• BCITO courses such as National Certificates in Construction Trades,
• National Diploma in Construction Management,
• consultation with a business advisor,
• short courses or seminars on small business management, estimating or contract management, and
• higher level business-related qualifications.
Employers interested in applying for one of the 15 grants can access the application pack at www.bcito.org.nz under the Employers’ page.
The number of available grants will be updated on this page as they are claimed.
Applications will be processed on a first-come first-served basis, and will be assessed on how well the intended use of funding meets the purpose of the scheme.