A grant from the CITB will develop VGC Academy’s management training programme.
Since we launched the VGC Academy in 2019, most of VGC’s office staff have benefited from the foundation modules of the programme. These helped people to develop skills like problem-solving, teamwork and influencing.
We planned to roll out further modules during 2020. However the coronavirus pandemic meant this training, like much else, had to pause. The new CITB grant funds us to move forward with the programme. It will allow more people to take part in the foundation modules, and help develop the intermediate and management courses. These will give people the skills they need to grow their careers and become excellent leaders and managers.
More than technical knowledge
Leadership and management skills are as important on site as in the office. Better leadership skills mean happier, more productive teams. So selected site supervisors and office-based managers will be invited to join the programme.
Site-based staff usually develop their supervisory skills through NVQ qualifications, which are generally trade-specific and technical. The VGC Academy programme will develop other key skills like emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and collaboration. These behaviours are key to VGC’s values and important for us to create a positive legacy for everyone.
The CITB grant is focused on leadership and management development. Everyone in VGC will continue to be part of the VGC Academy personal development plan.
- delighting clients – how to ‘go beyond’
- further developing emotional intelligence
- responding to change
- taking responsibility
- giving and receiving feedback.
Office-based managers will start on the first two-day intermediate courses from November this year. The two-day foundation course for a pilot group of site supervisors is planned for early 2021. They will then have the opportunity to complete the intermediate modules by the summer.
At least 42 people from across the company will be invited to take part. Under current COVID-19 restrictions we will have to limit training to seven people per course. As restrictions ease, more people will be able to join.
Selected staff will then be invited to join the management and leadership programme.
- Managing at VGC
- Strategic innovation and championing change
- Leading high performing teams
- Leadership culture and change
- Emotionally intelligent leadership
These modules will develop behavioural competencies from VGC’s framework to more advanced levels.
We will also run a small number of focused skills workshops for managers who need coaching in specialist areas. These could include presenting and creative thinking.
After the initial pilot, we plan to develop the VGC Academy even further.
Valuable softer skills
“COVID-19 forced us to put a hold on our learning and development plans,” said Ciara Pryce, group services director. “The CITB grant funding allows us to push forward with developing the behavioural competencies of our supervisors, managers and leaders immediately, rather than waiting for less uncertain times.
“We are proud of the way VGC people work collaboratively to meet client needs, and the training will build on this. It will help people develop key softer skills like resilience, innovation and adaptability.”
2020 has been a difficult year for many reasons, and the CITB is keen to support people to grow and learn despite the pandemic.
“VGC Academy’s emphasis on positive behaviours, helping people develop to be the best they can, was key to our gaining this grant,” Ciara continued. “Our approach will produce individuals who are well-rounded, have strong people skills, and add value beyond the normal expectations of the job.”
The construction industry will need more people to deliver the government’s ambitious infrastructure plans. However, we are seeing a skills shortage, and it will be ever-harder to recruit foreign workers after Brexit and COVID-19.
The VGC Academy is our response to this issue. It will help VGC to:
- attract the best talent
- retain our excellent workforce
- help staff to become more productive
- develop our people, so we rely less on hiring in the skills we need to succeed and grow.
In addition, the training will help the industry, by increasing the pool of individuals with collaboration and leadership skills. Positive messages will filter throughout the wider market, attracting new entrants with diverse backgrounds and abilities to collaborate to meet the needs of a modern Britain.
As the programme is rolled out to staff during 2021, we will measure its impact to see how it benefits VGC, our supply chain, industry partners and the wider industry. The analysis will help us to see how we can extend the initial pilot to the rest of the company.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is a partner in the Sector Skills Council. It is dedicated to ensuring the construction workforce has the right skills for now and the future.
Other CITB funding recipients include VINCI, Morgan Sindall, Bam Nuttall, Willmott Dixon, Volker Fitzpatrick, Mace, Laing O’Rourke, Graham, and Buoygues UK. A full list of the successful projects is on the CITB website.
The training, designed specially for VGC, is delivered by Onion People Development. Onion is approved as a training centre for Chartered Institute of Management qualifications.