You have probably heard the term ‘funding’ being banded about by training providers over the years, but what does it actually mean for you? Can you get those airless paint spraying courses you wanted to do fully funded so it doesn’t cost you anything? The short answer is most likely yes!
There are many organisations that have pots of money which they use to fund businesses, to help them gain the skills they need to remain sustainable, and of course to help them grow.
There are lots of different types of funding available, ranging from grants for equipment, training grants, and small business mentoring, to name a few.
Why do organisations do this?
To answer that question, I am going to introduce you to an organisation called the CITB. CITB are the Construction Industry Training Board, they are the industry training board for the UK construction industry. They are a non-departmental public body and are sponsored by the Department for Education.
Ultimately, they are answerable to Parliament. The purpose of the CITB is to attract and support the development of people in the Construction industry, the Government recognises that the Construction industry is the UK’s largest employer and as of 2021 employs some 2.66 million people. Because construction is key to the UK economy, it is vital that the UK has the skilled people needed to keep the industry running. In 2021, some 773,000 operatives in the industry were registered as self-employed.
The skills gap in airless paint spraying courses
The CITB collect levy payments from employers who have wage bills of more than £120,000 annually. The levy is then used to fund many activities across the sector, with the main one being training like airless paint spraying courses. They prioritise how to distribute their funding by working with employers and people in the industry who inform them where the skills shortages are and what training is needed to upskill operatives so that they then have the necessary skills.
Painting & Decorating and Plastering are both trades that have been identified as having a shortage of skilled operatives. Therefore CITB can fund courses, such as Airless paint spraying courses, through their grant-aided training and skills and training fund schemes.
CITB have over 1500 different courses on their approved training list that people can undertake. Airless paint spraying is a good example of this. At PaintTech Training Academy, we have worked closely with CITB to ensure that our course offering aligns with the grant-aided courses that CITB have agreed to fund, meaning if you want to do one of our courses, you can get it paid for by CITB.
What is in it for CITB?
So how does this work for a sole trader? Well, as I mentioned previously, CITB’s role is to ensure the whole of the nearly 1 million self-employed people in the construction workforce is skilled and able, but you might ask yourself what’s in it for them? What is in it for CITB? Well, what’s in it for them is making sure the industry can grow and survive and that the UK have the skilled tradespeople that it needs to function effectively, efficiently and safely. That is their primary goal.
So, in a way, your claiming some funding to do an airless paint spraying course is helping them achieve their goal of ensuring the workforce is skilled, and they are helping you achieve your goals by funding your training, so it’s a win-win situation.
Working with sole traders
With there being so many people in the industry who are self-employed, they have recognised the need to support sole traders and have introduced the option for sole traders to be now eligible to claim funding of up to £2500 per annum through the skills and training fund.
To be eligible to apply for this funding, sole traders just have to evidence the use of CIS subcontractors through their businesses. You don’t have to use sub contractors all the time because CITB realise the whole point of the subcontractor system is to allow the flexibility of more staff on the occasions you need them and none when you don’t.
What can I spend my funding on?
The funding is purely a training grant and is there to cover the costs of relevant courses such as airless paint spraying courses, wallpapering, airless spray plaster and, of course, the other 1500 courses that cover all trades on the list. You cannot use it for equipment purchases or to cover any travelling expenses, it is purely for the training costs alone.
Do I have to repay the money?
No, and it is not taxable income. It is classed as a non-taxable training grant for accounting purposes. You would only ever repay the money if you didn’t spend it, so for example, if you applied for 2 airless paint spraying courses and they sent you the money for that purpose, but then you didn’t book the courses or do the training, then you would have to repay it back.
But for all legitimate claims where the training you applied for has taken place, the money is yours to keep. We, as a CITB-approved training organisation, have to confirm with CITB that you did attend the course.
What can PaintTech Training Academy do for me as a sole trader?
Well, firstly, we can assist you in registering with CITB and applying for funding. We can take all the pain away from doing the paperwork and work with you to submit a successful application. We have been doing this for a long time, and 100% of the people we help have managed to claim the funding they need.
Secondly, we provide first-class training in subjects such as airless paint spraying courses, HVLP paint spraying, airless spray plaster, wallpapering, murals, decorative, project management and much more. We have over 20 different courses available for you to cover every aspect of painting and decorating to help you be the best you can be. Many of our courses are also assured by City & Guilds, meaning you get a recognised certificate once training is complete.
Finally, and not really finally, as we always have more to offer you, but we also support you after courses have taken place. We have a dedicated support group for all students which is free to join, and we have a range of mentoring groups that we work with to push your business to the next level. We are able to support you with things like marketing, growth and managing staff.
Taking a course with us will not only enhance your skills but enhance your business and, ultimately, your profits, so what are you waiting for? Arrange a call back with a member of our support team. www.painttechtrainingacademy.co.uk/citb-request-a-call-back