There is little doubt that with escalating costs forcing us to look ever more carefully at productivity, initiatives like the Golden Thread and BIM and basic customer requirements for us to communicate better, share information in a more structured way and streamline processes that the wave of new digital solutions hitting us are part of the solution, but they can feel part of the problem!
The good news is that help is out there. Following on from developing the Digital Spine in 2021 (a tool to help explain and contextualise technology), FIS have launched a new impartial digital construction helpline and mentoring service in partnership with Digital Construction Skills. Beyond the advice, guidance and developing case studies we are also looking at opportunities to identify funding to support investment. Beyond R&D Tax Credits (which can be an excellent way to recoup investment), we have identified two options that may be worth consideration for FIS Members.
The CITB Skills and Training Fund
Get £10 – £25k for digital Skills training including laser scanner, BIM, AutoCAD, 3D mapping and modelling, robotic total station or drones training.
The criteria for the CITB medium sized Skills and Training Fund has changed. Through this fund, construction companies with between 100 and 250 employees can apply for between £10,000 and £25,000 (depending on their size). Note: CITB have removed the criteria that the training must be new, therefore allowing businesses to repeat things they have done before or use the funding for skills related training.
The Help to Grow Digital scheme to support smaller businesses in adopting digital technologies is now open for applications.
Under the scheme, eligible businesses can receive discounts of up to £5,000 off the retail price of approved digital accounting and CRM software from leading technology suppliers. This software will assist them in effectively managing finances and building customer relationships, and help them to scale up.
Businesses can also access practical support and advice on how to choose the right digital technologies to boost their growth and productivity through a new online platform.
Commenting on these funds, Saffron Grant FIS Digital Champion stated:
“This is another example of the support out there for SMEs to take that giant leap into the digital space that in many cases is only a small step! Through the FIS free digital helpline we can help to talk you through the options and help you identify how you can make use of funding of this type. The digital revolution is happening in construction, but it comes with a lot of noise and misinformation. The work we are doing with FIS is about helping to tap into the right support and to find your digital path.”