A special event focusing on what the new Apprenticeship Levy means to the construction sector kicked off the 2017 series of networking and information sessions organised by Shropshire Constructing Excellence.

Industry representatives and those working in supply chain businesses packed the
breakfast event hosted by The Lighting Industry Association at its HQ in Telford.

Dan Leech, the Managing Director of TDS Midlands, gave the keynote speech, focusing on how businesses can benefit from the new levy.

Dan is the founder of the Cadcoe, the Construction and Design Centre of Excellence developed to address the UK’s skills shortage, and detailed how organisations should be planning for the introduction of the levy.

Delegates heard about support available to the sector including a newly-launched £2.5m grant pot to help businesses extend or renovate commercial premises, an overview on how the Apprenticeship Levy sits alongside the new Construction Industry Training Board Levy, and from Shropshire firm Pave Aways about its own apprenticeship scheme.

Experts were also on hand to offer one to one sessions for businesses to find out what the levy means to their individual company.

SCE chairman Gareth Emberton said the first 2017 event had been a great success.

“As a business network, our aim is to share best practice and provide up to date information on real time issues affecting the construction sector and associated supply chain businesses.

“The Apprenticeship Levy is a key issue for an industry that is facing a skills shortage and members gained a great deal of information in a short period of time about how it could affect them and action they need to take.

“These sessions are also a great opportunity for networking and making contacts and we are always keen to welcome new members.”

* The next SCE event will focus on Business Information Modelling (BIM) and the Law and take place on June 14 at Shropshire Chamber of Commerce in Telford.

For more information or to register your interest, email teresa@shropshireconstruction.co.uk.