The Irish government is funding BIM training to help Irish owned-construction companies compete for contracts in the UK market.
Since its launch late last year, around 30 companies have taken up the “BIM Enable” training, including design firms, main and specialist contractors, offsite manufacturers and product suppliers.
Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government organisation responsible for developing domestic enterprises in world markets – similar to UK Trade and Investment – has made up to €1.5m funding available for companies to undertake a seven-day programme with a BIM consultancy.
The six firms offering the training include Croydon-based consultancy ECS, where Mark Bew is a director, and Newcastle-based BIM Academy.
The course, available only to construction companies with Irish majority ownership that operate internationally, is designed to heighten BIM knowledge across the business functions and deliver a bespoke “roadmap” to Level 2 BIM.
Speaking to BIM+, John Hunt, senior market adviser for the construction sector at Enterprise Ireland, explained that the funding programme was designed to ensure that Irish construction companies working in the UK and around the world can remain competitive.
“It’s a response to the mandate in the UK to ensure that companies would not be disadvantaged due to the [UK] government’s policy. It’s not much of a secret that the Irish construction industry has not had a good time in the last 5-10 years [although at present the Irish constrcution industry is growing at 8% p.a. one of the fastest rates in Europe]. At present 10% of construction GDP is being generated by exports, so BIM is a further enabler of companies building international business.”
“BIM Enable incentivises companies to take a strategic approach to training so that they can extract the full value of BIM and gain long-term efficiencies. The funding provides one-to-one consultancy for companies to understand what BIM is and how it can make processes more efficient.”
The majority of the 30 companies that have benefited so far “have a strong UK footprint”, says Hunt.
Enterprise Ireland has secured government funding to take up to 100 companies through the programme, meaning that a further 70 Irish-owned companies can take up the training.
Under the BIM Enable scheme, the company pays the first €2,100 towards the costs of seven days’ consultancy, and Enterprise Ireland provides a grant for the remainder to a maximum of €6,300.
The training is being carried out by six consultants: Dublin-based Arcdox and the DPW Group, London-based West One Management Consulting and ECS, along with Newcastle-based BIM Academy and Leicester-based Metz Architects.
It’s a response to the mandate in the UK to ensure that companies would not be disadvantaged due to the [UK] government’s policy.– John Hunt, Enterprise Ireland