Alan Cantwell: Scaffolders reach new heights with CITB funding
ASC Edinburgh Ltd managing director Alan Cantwell discusses how CITB’s Skills and Training Fund enabled the firm to send an employee on a specialist design course; move towards Approved Training Organisation status and inspire young people on work experience to begin apprenticeships.
When business slows, cutting down training is tough. We were lucky. We didn’t have to because CITB funding meant we could continue to put staff on training courses. We sent employees on the Scaffolding Part One, Part Two and Advanced courses to get their Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme Completion Certificate. An employee was sent, after his Civil and Transportation Engineering degree on a specialised course in Design Engineering; it gave him a better understanding of the working world, which is very different from university.
Training and development for our employees is at the heart of the business. We need to ensure each individual is qualified and completing training courses for their development. For a scaffolder to become fully qualified they need to complete their Part One, Part Two and Advanced Scaffolding Card- expensive, but essential for business.
Apprentices are the future of our business. With CITB funding, we can fully support them through their training. We can show them what a great career scaffolding is.
The Skills and Training Fund has helped new starters into the industry and existing staff looking for a career change. If an advanced scaffolder wants to become a supervisor, we can send them on a course to make this happen.
CITB funding has encouraged us to work towards Approved Training Organisation (ATO) status. This means we will provide quality training courses that meet industry standards. Delivering the training we are so passionate about will be the cherry on top for us. Helping our community is a big part of it; we’re looking to build on this for our future development.
Inspiring young people
MSP Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Employability and Training, awarded us with investors in youth accreditation. We’ve had work experience students who want to start working but have struggled at school or had a difficult upbringing and don’t know where to begin. This amazing project connects these students with an employer; it gives them a taste of working life. We get them out in the yard and with staff, so they get a good idea of what being a scaffolder is like.
If it works for both of us, we get them on-board through the apprenticeship route. CITB funding has enabled us to continue supporting these young people and give them an opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t have had. After their apprenticeship, we often fund them to go onto their Part One training which starts them off on a successful career as a scaffolder.
We have benefited from CITB funding in so many ways and are applying for more. We hope to be able to train some Mental Health First Aiders. This will contribute to improving the mental health and well-being of people in and around our industry. Thanks to everyone who has supported us.
More information can be found on the Skills and Training Fund.
Find out how you can become an ATO.
- ASC has supplied commercial, industrial and domestic scaffolding in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Central Scotland for more than 30 years