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Giving employers a greater say on skills

One organisation can’t solve all construction’s skills challenges.

To attract new workers, stakeholders need to partner for skills and take an aligned approach to training.

That’s the best way of supporting people into well paid construction jobs.

I’m pleased to say that a new, co-ordinated approach to skills is in the pipeline: Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs).


The aim of LSIPs, an employer-led initiative from the Department for Education (DfE), is to give employers in England a greater say on skills provision.

Research shows why LSIPs are needed.

Only 26% of construction employers work with colleges to support their training needs.

Just 22% of employers engage with colleges to support their recruitment needs.

LSIPs are expected to be agreed by the Secretary of State next summer and run, initially, to March 2025,

CITB has just published a guidance document on LSIPs: Driving construction skills, growth, and jobs through Local Skills Improvement Plans.

Here’s a brief description of how LSIPs will work and how CITB can support you.


The DfE has designated 38 Employer Representative Bodies (ERBs) in England. They will develop a three-year LSIP in their area.

The ERBs will consider, along with local Chambers of Commerce and other organisations, current and future skills need identified by construction employers.

Their final plans will show how employers, training networks and stakeholders can support training that matches skills requirements.

LSIPs will go a long way to correcting the current mismatch between training provision and the skills employers actually want from their new recruits.


Giving employers a bigger say on skills and training will have multiple benefits.

Industry will acquire more skilled workers. The pace of work on projects will increase. Local people will have careers opportunities. The local economy will grow.

For example school leavers, Further Education students, the unemployed and hard-to-reach groups can be signposted to CITB’s Onsite Experience Hubs.

There they can quickly develop valuable site-ready skills.

And after training they can seek well-paid construction jobs through resources like Talentview.

It’s a win-win situation.

Local people won’t have to go far to gain practical construction skills and experience, employers can access local talent.


The Skills for Jobs White Paper 2021 set out the employer-led philosophy behind LSIPs.

CITB has worked alongside trailblazer LSIPs since they began in 2021/22. We provided them with labour market intelligence, employer networks and a range of funding, products, and services.

Crucial to the success of LSIPs will be how they provide apprenticeships, the preferred training option of employers.


CITB is making it easier for small employers to access grants to hire apprentices.

Current CITB grants on offer include:

  • Learning grant: up to £2,500 per apprentice per year while they are learning
  • Achievement grant: up to £3,500 when an apprentice completes training
  • Attendance grant: up to £2,500 per apprentice per year
  • Drylining apprentice grant: an extra £2,000 is payable for dry lining apprentices
  • Travel to Train/Accommodation grant: We reimburse 80% of accommodation costs for apprentices where overnight stays and travel to/from a hotel are required.

If you’re an employer thinking of hiring an apprentice do get in touch. Our Advisers will be delighted to help you.

In the meantime, CITB will be hosting, later this month, regional webinars to offer extra support and assistance on LSIPs.

We have also set up a designated email lsips@citb.co.uk for ERBs to contact us if they have questions or would like support.


For me, LSIPs offer a lasting opportunity to develop systems that make skills provision more responsive.

I am genuinely optimistic about their potential to create construction jobs and growth in communities across England.

I’d like to thank our partners who supported us on the new guidance: the DfE, Construction Leadership Council and the British Chambers of Commerce.

I look forward to working with you, the construction industry and our local communities.

Let’s make LSIPs work.

If you would like to share your views, please get in touch via ceo@citb.co.uk.