Covid-19: CITB chief exec update - 4 November 2020


Good afternoon,

Today’s email brings news on the launch of a free COVID-19 eCourse; further measures we’ve taken to help with Site Safety Plus training; details of changes at CITB; and extra support through virtual meetings.

The pandemic continues to challenge us all with the recent UK Government announcement over the weekend introducing a second lockdown in England, and an extension of the furlough scheme. As the situation continues to evolve, please view our Urgent Messages page for the latest range of support measures available.

Free COVID-19 eCourse launched

The development of a new pandemic Standard was announced back in August with an eCourse set to follow. I'm pleased to share today that the 'Setting up and operating a safe construction site during COVID-19' course in now live on our eCourses platform.

Government guidance is for construction sites to remain open, with a reminder to review social distancing measures and comply with the Site Operating Procedures ‐ Version 6. The COVID-19 eCourse can be used alongside existing guidelines to ensure sites remain open safely, and as the Standard is not grant supported, we’re offering this online course FREE of charge. Aimed primarily at managers and supervisors, the course will enable the confident and knowledgeable delivery of toolbox talks, and cover topics such as, 'Understanding a Virus' and 'Social Distancing'.

Support for Site Safety Plus training

We’re doing all we can to support the safe delivery of courses and enable employees to continue training and upskilling during these difficult times. Following positive feedback and remaining within the recommended guidelines, we’ve increased the number of delegates permitted per remote delivery course from 10 to 12 with immediate effect.  

We’ve also further extended the grace period for employees needing to complete a Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) or Site Supervision Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) refresher course, due to continued high demand and local lockdowns. For certificates that expired after 15 March 2020, employees will now have until 31 January 2021 to join a refresher course, rather than having to re-take the full course.

Changes at CITB

Today I share with you that I have made the difficult decision to resign from my role as CEO. I am committed to the delivery of our current plans and in order to ensure stability in this challenging year I will be staying with CITB until September 2021 to make sure CITB is in the strongest position possible as it continues to move forward.

I am proud to have been part of this organisation for the past 16 years, and proud of our work to support construction employers across Great Britain. Until my departure in September, my priority remains to continue to deliver the Skills Stability Plan (our Business Plan for 2021/22) and the Strategic Plan for 2021/24, and to best serve industry needs. I will then look forward to taking some time to be with my family before seeking a new career challenge. 

Our Chair, Peter Lauener, will soon begin a recruitment process for a new Chief Executive.

Extra support through virtual meetings

Following periods of furlough, all colleagues have now returned to work, including the customer facing Partnerships and Apprenticeships Teams, and while we still can’t see you in person just yet, we will be holding a series of 'virtual' meetings to ensure you keep getting the support you need.

As of next week, there will be group meetings on key topics that many of our employers ask us about. The first will cover an introduction to CITB, aimed at newly registered employers or existing employers, where their CITB contact has changed, with a session on apprenticeships to follow. You will also soon be able to book 1-2-1 sessions, and I’ll share more information on these in the coming weeks. To find out more and book onto a group session, please click here.

A reminder… 

The forecast for industry can be found in our recently published Construction Skills Network 2021-25 interim report. CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed regularly 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. 

Best wishes and stay safe everyone,

Sarah Beale
Chief Executive