Materials firm teams up with CITB to offer training and support to SMEs

Materials firm Saint-Gobain has joined up with the Construction Industry Training Board to provide training and support to SMEs with which it has a commercial relationship.

The firm has established a new “entrepreneur foundation” for companies trading with it for more than six months which employ up to six employees and a have a turnover below £350,000.

The foundation will provide a year’s worth of training in materials and techniques, plus advice on business finance, marketing, customer service plus health and safety.

Peter Hindle, senior vice president for sustainable habitat and general delegate at Saint-Gobain UK, Ireland & South Africa, said: “

s we are celebrating our 350th anniversary, it is only right that we look to the future and help develop smaller businesses that will ensure the construction sector is vibrant for the next century and beyond.”

The initiative is part of the firm’s “Support for Industry” pledge which forms a central plank of its corporate social responsibility strategy, he said. It is aimed at helping to address the skills shortage within the construction industry.

Up to 25 companies could be chosen for the first year’s entry to the foundation, with the aim of supporting 200 over the next five years.

Practical training sessions will be run from Saint-Gobain’s technical academy in Flitwick, Bedfordshire and its Greenworks training academy in Birmingham.