Essex Construction Training Association Partner With Helmsman

Building site

Building siteHelmsman, the Colchester-based outsource training provider, has renewed their contract with the Essex Construction Training Association (ECTA); they have now been tasked with running the group since 2008. Helmsman has become a well respected training, they also provide training for London Regional Construction Training Group. Here they offer some advice for the Essex construction  industry.

Take it for Granted – Training Pays

If you are registered with the CITB there are substantial grants available to subsidise your training costs but you have to claim them!

The CITB currently pays a daily grant plus an uplift – if you have filed your Levy Return and sorted payment.  A further exceptional grant is also available on top of whatever you claim in the year, all of which are worth a total of over £65 per person per day.

Put another way, if you are undertaking 50 days of training across the board for your employees and labour-only sub-contractors over the course of a year, you could be receiving as much as £3,400 per annum.

To maximise your grant income, you need to file an Annual Training Plan which will allow you to claim for every type of training, not just health and safety for site operatives.

The Grant Scheme is somewhat complex and you have to know how it works in order to claim everything to which you are entitled which, for some companies, means someone having to spend time understanding the intricacies of the Grant Scheme.  These days, time is the problem!

An easy way to simplify the process and maximise your grants at the same time, is to outsource your entire training function to us.  It will reduce the cost of your training, will free up your staff to concentrate on your core business activities, rather than worry about training administration and guarantee that you get the most out of CITB.

A new face at Helmsman

To support our continued business growth we have appointed an additional member of staff to help with training administration – and we are now officially international!  Ingrid Metzmeier is a Canadian from Vancouver with a superb academic record and who has been involved in training for many years.

In addition to providing administrative support, Ingrid will also be responsible for assisting Lindsey Willson in running ECTA, helping to deliver training and advice to its construction industry members.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Ingrid – you’ll know who she is when you speak to her as whilst she has been in the UK for several years, her accent hasn’t left her.

We guarantee to add value – or we pay the penalty

Businesses often talk about ‘adding value’ but how many would offer a guarantee to support that claim?

At Helmsman, we have proven time and time again that we add real and measurable value to our clients’ businesses.  One client saved around £15,000 by outsourcing to us, instead of employing someone to manage their training needs in-house.

Another was paying £575 a day to its health and safety advisors for training.  When we took over the responsibility, we were able to reduce this cost to £450 per day.

We also offer value because of our understanding of the training grants that are available, which can save a significant amount of money. One of our clients was claiming almost nothing in grants and the first year of working with us, we claimed over £15,000 for them.

Another didn’t realise that they could claim for Toolbox talks which has been worth over £9,000 a year to them.

If the above examples don’t convince you that we can add value, we are so certain of our ability to make you money, for new clients (once we have checked over their figures), we will make a guarantee that we will pay for ourselves from the extra grant that we will get, or pay them the difference. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose so give us a call.


We probably deal with 100+ clients or members of the Training Groups on a regular basis and we can’t think of anyone who isn’t saying that they are frantic with work.  That’s great but whereas 3 years ago training was put on the back-boiler due to lack of money, it is still being put on the back boiler but now through lack of time!

Classroom courses take up vital production time, cost many hours of wages and really don’t necessarily deliver training that can be shown to have been taken in by participants.

But construction e-learning, compared with classroom courses, can reduce lost production time by up to 85%, the cost of wages are reduced by about 80% per person and the actual cost of providing the courses can come down to around 40% of those when a trainer comes in.

This represents a huge saving of money and time and as long as a person has access to the internet (at work or at home) they can undertake e-learning.  It also means that if you have a training budget, you will be able to be far more pro-active and your training records will look exceptionally comprehensive on PQQs and Tenders.

The range of subjects that we offer is vast and many are RoSPA Approved (and the Asbestos Awareness is UKATA Accredited) and so you should be able to put most of  your health and safety training needs into our hands and benefit from the effectiveness and efficiency of e-learning.

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