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CITB confirms lower levy rate ahead of consensus vote in Scotland


The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in Scotland has confirmed it will cut the levy it collects from employers from 0.5% to 0.35% of the total payments made to employees (PAYE) in 2018-20.

The levy rate will remain at 1.25% of the payments made to subcontractors who are taxed under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

The announcement follows the completion of CITB’s biggest ever consultation with industry where employers were presented with a levy proposal for 2018 combining a reduced levy rate with a renewed focus on three key construction industry priorities:

  • Making construction a positive career choice;
  • Ensuring employers have access to the training standards they need;
  • Developing a more skilled, professional and safe workforce.

The discussions contribute to a formal process conducted by CITB every three years to secure the support of construction industry employers, known as consensus.

Between February and May 2017, CITB Scotland contacted around 6,000 levy-registered employers of all sizes from all areas of the country – from the Borders to the Shetlands – to request feedback on the levy proposal and priorities. Detailed views of almost one third of those contacted were gathered.

Employers were asked to rate the levy proposal, and gave the following scores:

  • 66% rated it as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’
  • 19% rated it as ‘average’
  • 15% rated it as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

The consultation revealed that employers in Scotland responded more positively overall than those in England – 42% of whom, by comparison, rated the proposal as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, and 31% as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. Smaller firms were more favourable of the proposals than larger companies.

Following the formal consensus period which takes place from July to September 2017, employers and federations will vote on the outcome, which in turn will be ratified by UK Government.

Ian Hughes, CITB Strategic Partnerships Director in Scotland, said:

“We firmly believe that the 2018 levy proposal offers a bright future for construction. In it, we’ve pledged to fund standardised training to deliver a workforce with relevant, transferrable skills. We’ll also provide more financial support where and when it’s needed, and we’ll reduce paperwork – making it easier for employers to benefit from the CITB grant scheme.

“It was critical that we consulted extensively with employers across Scotland to ensure they understood what this proposal means for industry, and to gain their feedback to help to shape the CITB’s future.

“We are pleased that this new, lower levy rate has been approved by the CITB Board and the industry-led Levy Working Party. Ahead the consensus vote, we plan to share more details of how CITB will use funds raised by the levy to continue to help meet Scotland’s construction skills needs.”

Visit www.citb.co.uk/levy-2018 for full details of the levy proposal.

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