Saint-Gobain in the UK and Ireland, in association with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), has launched its new Entrepreneurship Foundation.

This week marked the official launch of the scheme, with events held at the Saint-Gobain Training Academy, in Flitwick, Bedford, and the Greenworks Training Academy, in Birmingham. The launch events were attended by successful applicants as well as members of the CITB and Peter Hindle MBE, senior vice president for sustainable habitat and general delegate Saint-Gobain UK, Ireland and South Africa.

The Entrepreneurship Foundation will provide 12 months of free practical training to 23 small businesses in the construction industry. This will include an introduction to the latest innovative building materials and techniques, as well as support and guidance on how to manage and grow a business covering essential areas like finance, marketing, customer service and health and safety.

Mr Hindle MBE said: “It is important in our 350th anniversary year that we look to the future and ensure that the construction sector is thriving for future generations. Fast-growing small companies are job creators, and play an important role in attracting new talent to the industry. Having met some of the entrepreneurs at the launch events, I am confident that the Entrepreneurship Foundation will create a business network that strives to succeed within the sustainable construction sector, providing employment to many more people in the coming years."

Business owner Nigel Thompson from Assured Renders, said: “The Foundation is a great opportunity to learn more about marketing, business strategy and finance, and to learn from the experts. I plan to develop my business significantly in the next few years, and the Foundation will help me to expand my business in an innovative, efficient, safe and profitable way."

Steve Radley, CITB’s director of policy and strategic planning, added: “The Entrepreneurship Foundation will provide high-level training for SMEs within the construction industry, equipping them with the skills to become even more successful. With an estimated 224,000 new construction jobs to be created over the next five years, it is vital that smaller businesses have the tools to capitalise on this industry growth. It is great to see Saint-Gobain helping to tackle the challenges the industry faces and we at CITB are proud to be in partnership with them.”

Practical training sessions will take place at Saint-Gobain’s Technical Academy in Flitwick, Bedfordshire and the Greenworks Training Academy in Birmingham.

More information on the Entrepreneurship Foundation can be found at:

Picture caption: Peter Hindle MBE speaking at the launch of the new Entrepreneurhip Foundation.