COVID-19 is presenting huge challenges for the construction employers CITB supports across England, Scotland and Wales.
To ensure our customers and partners are fully aware of the help CITB will provide during the crisis, I will issue daily (Mon – Fri) updates on our work.
I can guarantee that CITB will monitor this rapidly changing situation daily and work tirelessly to support our clients. As stated, where we can lead, we will, and where we can offer support, or signpost to others better placed to help, we will do that.
CITB has already introduced a number of support packages for employers which can be seen here on our COVID-19 update page.
Today, my key messages are on Apprenticeships, the CITB Levy, Site Safety Plus, a new employer support database and a monthly construction competition for schoolchildren across England, Scotland and Wales.
As CITB's Director of Products & Services, Braden Connolly, announced, CITB is helping SMEs with the funding of apprenticeships by bringing forward payment of some apprenticeship grants. Details will be announced shortly. In the meantime I urge all employers not to dismiss any apprentices without first speaking to our Apprenticeship team: email: Employer.ApprenticeshipQueries@citb.co.uk
Apprenticeship Officers will continue to be employers' point of contact. A letter was sent to all apprentices on 19 March advising them that their Apprenticeship Officer will be in touch. Apprentice reviews and engagement will be delivered via phone or Skype.
CITB is working with ESFA to discuss the existing funding rules around breaks in learning for apprentices. Additionally we are working with IfATE to look at the impact that the Apprenticeships Frameworks switch off on July 31st 2020 will have, in light of the inevitable delays to achievement. We will keep you updated on the outcomes of those discussions.
The CITB Levy
CITB is examining a range of options to help employers with the Levy. This is a complex issue and a top priority for us. CITB will do everything we can to support industry. Our Board are meeting this week to discuss our options.
Site Safety Plus
We are working with our network of Site Safety Plus training providers throughout the UK to support delegates who have been impacted through self-isolating, or have implemented social distancing procedures.
We understand that difficulties accessing SSP courses will have an impact on card applications and renewals, and also on meeting many employers' and federations' standards for working on site. We have been liaising with card scheme providers to tackle this challenge and are supportive of calls for employers to provide flexibility on recently expired cards. We ask employers to show this same discretion for recently expired SSP courses such as SSSTS and SMSTS. You can find more on card schemes by following this link.
A new employer support database
CITB has begun compiling a database that will contain a range of useful information and links designed to help employers during the crisis. The database will be online within the next week.
Monthly construction competition for schoolchildren
Plans for a monthly (April to June) Minecraft Buildathon competition for primary and secondary schools throughout England, Scotland and Wales are underway. The competition will provide an opportunity for students and parents to learn about the wide range of careers available in construction while schools are closed. More information to follow.
CITB's COVID-19 updates page includes information on Grants, Funding and the NCC.
The UK Government has outlined a range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees.