Covid-19: CITB chief exec update – 17 April 2020


Good afternoon,

I hope you’ve had a good week.  Today’s update collates, in one e-mail, the most essential information on CITB’s support to industry during COVID-19.  I hope the summaries and signposting links below on themes including grants, funding and our support to families and children during the pandemic, are helpful.

The Levy: As you know, CITB suspended levy payments for an initial period of three months in response to employers’ cash flow concerns. We will continually review Levy collection

Apprentices:  Over 10,300 apprentices and their employers have been contacted by our Apprenticeship officers to make them aware of support available. CITB’s partnerships team also signposted support details to over 1,000 employers to and sought to address their needs. Online learning tools and a dedicated helpline were set up for apprentices.

Grants: Apprentice attendance grants for years 2 and 3 have been advanced. Over £2.5m has been paid to approximately 1,500 employers, supporting over 2,500 apprentices since April 6.  Following industry feedback we extended our Advanced Grant support to Higher Level Apprenticeships. Almost £62K has been paid to 31 employers to support 87 apprentices since April 7.

Funding: Our Skills and Training Fund has been refreshed to help micro to medium-size businesses with sustainability and skills. Approximately 100 applications from Training Groups, Small & Micro and Medium businesses have been received in the two weeks since the scheme opened.  Since our new £5m Leadership and Management Development Fund was launched on Monday a number of large businesses have been in touch ahead of June’s application deadline.

Buildathon: Our Go Construct Buildathon competition starts next week, details here. It will support families and children (aged 5-12) – the next generation of construction workers – in a fun and challenging way. To date we’ve received over 160 registrations.

Remote Learning: Twenty-two courses are currently eligible for remote learning – with more to be announced next week. These courses are available to Accredited Training Organisationss (ATOs), including the Site Safety Plus Health and Safety Awareness and Site Supervisors' Safety Training Scheme & Site Management Safety Training Scheme refresher courses. To date we have received over 70 notifications to run Site Safety Plus Courses remotely, with 25 courses already having successfully taken place.

Approved Training Organisations (ATOs): CITB has extended the time ATOs have to deliver "assured" courses from 30 – 90 days, more information here.

CITB’s re-sizing and operating costs: Like many businesses, we are temporarily reducing the size of our organisation during this period (by approximately 50%) to ensure we balance maintaining n a level of service to customers, while protecting industry funds.  There are measures in addition to furlough being taken such as reduced hours and  pay cuts from colleagues and other operating cost reductions.

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed daily and includes updates on the full range of our work.

You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.

As you can see a range of urgent changes have taken place at CITB within the last month and these together with additional customer suggestions will be kept under close review.  In particular the Levy situation is being reviewed and discussed with Government.  I’d like to thank the CITB team and our many industry partners for their hard work during a time of crisis.   Now that we have launched and made available the major interventions, I will be issuing two industry updates per week, rather than daily. In the meantime, I hope you have a lovely weekend and you and your families stay well.

Kind wishes,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive