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01/09/21 - 31/08/22

DESME (known as ESF Digital Enablement Programme) is digital training and support available for sub-contractors, construction SME’s and construction stakeholders, provided for the Building Growth programme with the aim of growing the construction business.

The project is predominantly focused upon SMEs, sole traders and micro businesses. UK construction is made up of SMEs, particularly micro businesses and sole traders which accounts for over 95% of the sector. Identifying these businesses and ensuring that their skills needs are considered and met is the central part of the project.

The Lloyds Business Digital Index 2018 highlighted £84.5bn is being lost to the UK economy through 42% of SMEs not having the five basic digital skills:

  • Managing information: Find, manage and store digital information and content
  • Communicating: Communicate, interact, collaborate, share and connect with others
  • Transacting: Purchase and sell goods and services, organise finances, register for and use Government digital services
  • Creating: Engage with communities and create basic digital content
  • Problem Solving: Increase independence and confidence by solving problems using digital tools and finding solutions

One of the biggest barriers to adoption for SMEs remains the lack of investment from business leaders with two thirds of employees stating they are not receiving personal development in their current roles and therefore not evolving their skill sets to adapt to the changing needs of the workplace beyond 2019. This lack of investment is accentuating a growing skills gap. This challenge will only grow as the greater adoption of automation and Artificial Intelligence changes the nature of work and the skills required by employers of the future; particularly within construction.

This free, fully-funded digital support project is available across the county of Devon, including Plymouth and Torquay. The project will address the leadership and digital skills issues which are undermining the construction sector across the transition area of the Heart of the SW region.

What does this Programme offer?

  • Comprehensive skills analysis and personalised training plan based on your business needs
  • Advice on the funding and grant opportunities available to your business
  • Reduce time and cost on admin (get your Sundays back!)
  • Gain access to local supply chain networks

.. all at no cost to you!

Click here for the main DESME site:

DESME - Building Growth South West (

If you would like to know more you can email Tim -,  or please use this link to access the booking page for a short online conversation to identify the key areas for support.

Partially funded by the European Social Fund