Investment Funding Committee

Use the links below to find out more about the Investment Funding Committee:

Purpose

The Committee is directed on behalf of the CITB Board the implementation of CITB's Investment Funding Strategy and Policy and to give the Board assurance that the investment funds are applied effectively. 

In particular, the Investment Funding Committee will advise the Board on future direction of the strategy, including reform of the Grants Scheme based on their assessment of the impact of funding decisions and to provide independent review of the funding decisions in regard to exception cases requested by the CITB Executive Management Team.

Membership

Current committee members (as at April 2018) are:

  • Karen Jones - Chairperson and CITB trustee
  • Maria Pilford - CITB trustee
  • Julia Evans - Chief Executive Officer of BSRIA Limited
  • Chris Jones - Director of Learning and Development at BAM Construct Limited
  • Alison Lamplough - Head of Operational Training & Apprenticeships, Laing O'Rourke
  • Rupert Perkins - Contracts Director, John Perkins Construction Limited

2018 Meetings

2018 meetings

Meetings will take place in March, July, September and November 2018.

Attendance at 2018 CITB Investment Funding Committee meetings

 

March

July

September

November

Karen Jones

N

 

 

 

Maria Pilfold

Y

 

 

 

Julia Evans

Y

 

 

 

Chris Jones

Y

 

 

 

Alison Lamplough

Y

 

 

 

Rupert Perkins

Y

 

 

 

 

Summary of committee discussions

22 November 2017

  1. Two new members of the committee, Alison Lamplough and Rupert Perkins, were welcomed to the meeting.
  2. The committee received proposals in respect of fund options, fund windows, introduction of and expression of interest for flexible funding, commissioning, funding engagement and a listing of window 9 commissions.  The number of applications for flexible and structured funding had dropped, demand for Skills and Training funding continued to be high and volumes for all flexible and structured funding for Scotland and Wales were improving. The proposals for the following were agreed by the committee: the simplification of fund options; the removal of fund windows; the introduction of an expression of interest for responsive funding; a more agile approach to funding; and a shift in engagement – identifying leads in organisations who work on strategy and innovation.  A toolkit was available to signpost applicants to funding interventions.
  3. The committee discussed considerations for the Skills and Training Fund for 2018.  While the new Grants Scheme was being embedded, substantive changes were not envisaged to the Skills and Training Fund before March 2019.
  4. The committee received an overview of total employer funding on Grants, the Transition Package and Programme Based Funding.  Expenditure continued to follow an upward trend; the number of micro employers claiming grant had fallen slightly in 2017 compared to the same period in 2016; Automation of grant claims was not yet in place.  

12 September 2017

  1. The Grants Scheme Reform documentation was presented to the committee identifying issues for discussion, namely: grant rates for qualifications and short duration training; tiered approach to short duration training rates; proposal for ad hoc short duration support; First Aid Training and proposals for capping.  The Grants Scheme proposed to place a cap per employer per year based on the size of the employers’ workforce x a maximum number of courses per employee in respect of Short Duration Courses.
  2. The funding data for 2017 to date, spilt into Grants, Transition Package and Programme Based Funding was presented to the committee.  The first Transition Package Payments had been made in July 2017. The overall position in respect of Employer Funding was positive.  The success rate for Flexible and Structured Funding remained low. Steps were underway to change the commissioning approach, to work with organisations and groups early on and increase marketing.  Monitoring of bids was improving. Scotland had improved in the volume of Skills and Training bids.

6 July 2017

  1. A Commission Forum had been established and met for the first time in June 2017.  It was well attended by employers and representatives from Federations.  A paper was being prepared for the CITB Executive to review the proposed process and structure for commissioning going forward.  The objective was for the end to end process to ensure stakeholders are fully engaged in the process.
  2. The Structured Infrastructure (Assessment Infrastructure) had been established as a result of the National Skills Assessment Centre demand for assessments.  The National Skills Assessment Centre would focus on specialist and emerging skills (its core purpose) therefore the plan was to commission employers and federations to set up their own assessment centres.  The National Skills Assessment Centre would support those successful bids in the creation and set up phases; profits would be returned to the industry by investment back into these centres and assessors. 
  3. The Flexible Enhanced Incentives – (Assessor Infrastructure) was a continuation following the project commissioned in windows 6 and 7 in respect of training assessors and NVQs.  Those occupations that were not taken up in that earlier round were being picked up in the current window.
  4. The Structured Educational Engagement (Higher Education) project had two separate elements: (1) Improving the student experience, taken from a student perspective.  The objective was for this commission to provide resources to higher education such as real life case studies to engage non-cognate students into construction.  Through scalability and a consistent approach, resources will be developed to be used by higher education institutions; (2) Intervention into higher education from the employer’s perspective.  The aim being to ensure that higher education teachers have the right skills (e.g. through train the trainer) and resources to deliver construction opportunities.  Research clearly identified the shortage of managerial/professional/engineering skills therefore it was important that training deliverers were aware of current technologies available together with case studies to promote these specific areas. 
  5. The Structured Educational Engagement (Contextualised Curriculum) commissioning project was issued in May 2016 and had been successful in Wales. Responses had not been as strong in England and Scotland. CITB wished to re-run the engagement with employers as there were indications for sufficient demand.
  6. The Flexible Innovation (Productivity) commissioning was updated to the committee.  CITB had held a workshop with potential federations and employers wishing to bid to help in their understanding and ensure they were clear as to how they may achieve their goals.  The window would open in July 2017 and close in September 2017.  A second workshop had been planned. 
  7. A long term commissioning calendar had been circulated (in draft) which would be finalised shortly and shared at the Commissioning Forum and on the CITB website.  This would help organisations with future planning and showed that CITB are listening to their feedback. 

16 May 2017

  1. It was confirmed to the committee that there were a total of 96 flexible and structured fund projects.  The committee was advised that CITB was proactively working with federations to increase engagement.  ‘In Scope Leviable Claim vs Not Claimed Grant’ indicated just over 50% were claiming grant.  It was noted that some companies were not training, for some it was too much effort and others, especially the small and micro companies, were not aware of what was available.  There needed to be a driver to promote what funding was available.
  2. The latest view of the levy and funding landscape was presented and views were sought on its recommendations.  The Transition Package costs forecast had been increased to reflect data from the levy assessments and its aim was to enable companies to maintain expenditure on training.  The committee discussed the removal of the Supplementary Grant; which had been detailed at CITB consensus events.  The committee agreed with the removal of the Supplementary Grant with the exception of apprenticeships, as many companies had already budgeted for the life of an apprentice starting in September 2017.  Both automation of grant payments and the introduction of a Training Directory had been well received.  Areas of concern arising were: delivery of the Training Directory/Competence Register; need for more detail on the workings of the accreditation process and impact in respect of in-house training; the existing Grants Scheme worked well and did not need to change; issue of fairness, levy paid on all employees but grant available to support training only for core construction skills.  The committee agreed that a clear communication policy was paramount.  The Grants Scheme should address areas of skills needs within the industry; there may be areas for which employers could demonstrate construction specific requirements.  The committee was apprised of the need with the new Grants Scheme to implement controls on grant funding.  It was proposed to maintain the current control whereby (other than for apprenticeship) an employer cannot claim grant within the first year of registration.  The committee agreed with this proposal and the other controls proposed.  The committee agreed with the proposal to move towards a spilt of allocated funding 80% Commissioning Activity, leaving 20% to support initiatives that surface during the planning horizon and aligned with CITB objectives.  The committee wished for the Skills and Training Fund to remain available for a further 12 months, at which time it would be reviewed.
  3. A number of objectives had been set for the Training Directory including but not limited to CITB only funding training that met industry agreed priorities; delivered to agreed standards and level of quality and that it was transferable between employers; there was a consistent quality product between training providers; employers had visibility of the training completed by their workforce.  The directory would cover a wide spectrum ranging from in-house training to training providers with unaccredited courses; federation endorsed courses; National Construction College (NCC) unaccredited courses; courses accredited by a certification body to a qualification (regulations maintained and set by Qfqual, Scottish Qualifications Authority or Qualifications Wales).  Details were provided of the proposed pathways in setting standards, namely that CITB capture the need for standards; CITB agreed with industry the standards to be developed; CITB worked with industry and awarding organisations to develop standards, content and grant availability; standards were validated with industry; training syllabi aligned to standards and level of attainment with organisations; CITB published standards, syllabi and alignment to qualifications on the directory.

31 March 2017

  1. It was discussed whether the two commissioning themes proposed for the May 2017 funding window were appropriate for the commissioning approach to be adopted.  The committee agreed that the focus within the commission for productivity should, both in communication and content, be the promotion of good approaches.  The commission should emphasise access to training that worked.  The commission would run over two windows.  The first stage would be to scope for a range of projects to identify how to measure productivity and appropriate training regarding known problematic areas.  Stage two would look at outcomes and progressing training and more work.  The committee recommended that a review of existing research together with projects undertaken with support from CITB should be undertaken, collating lessons learned to inform future commissions relating to productivity.  The committee agreed that focus on productivity was well presented and should be progressed, with emphasis on Efficiencies and Defects. 
  2. Career Changers related to two areas: those who had construction skills through other sectors and for whom there would be upskilling requirements; and those with transferable skills for construction from another sector.  It was anticipated that the bids under the commission would be asked to create a breadth of clear pathways with a sustainable approach. Skills sets such as project management were pertinent and required contextual training for transference and implementation but a great challenge would be for the industry to accept and adopt them.  The two topics for commissioning were appropriate and guidance was offered on approaches to be taken with their development.
  3. The committee agreed that the commissioning structure was appropriate for the foreseeable future and their involvement had been timely.  Given that it was to be a rolling programme of work over the next two years and that high levels of planning and research were required to best inform what should be commissioned, the committee would welcome this engagement but with review of feedback/comment on process when developed.  It was pertinent to develop topics to be looked at for potential commissioning and to involve the committee to better inform decisions for the benefit of industry.

21 February 2017

  1. An update of the Grants Scheme Proposals was given.  The Grants Scheme principals were agreed at the final meeting of the Investment Funding Review Steering Group.  The focus would be on sharing this proposal across the industry.  Systems were being developed to integrate training into the standards.  The rules of how each scheme worked, to drive funding rates and allocation, would then be created.  The intention was to have the majority of the new Grants Scheme in place by April 2018, priority being given to the areas that are heavily used. The grant, levy and CITB financial year would be aligned, all starting on 1 April 2018.  The committee was advised of other work areas including funding rates, specialist apprenticeships, the opportunity for work experience and the use of Early Grant Out (EGO), an arrangement where levy was paid immediately and grant payments were released earlier.  The matter of the definition of ‘In-Scope’ organisations remained an issue as levy was charged upon all employees, however only a proportion of grant may be claimed back in grant, sales/support employees are often not included.  
  2. Consultation with federations would take place to establish how they would engage with their committees and ensure that their committees’ views were obtained regarding both consensus and funding.
  3. A summary of the flexible/structured funding and Grants Scheme was presented.  It was explained that any Intellectual Property arising from these activities belonged to CITB who could offer this information/knowledge to a wider community through a proposed searchable database.  The concept was to widen this platform to allow organisations to highlight their initial ideas before bid submission in search of partners with which to collaborate.  There had been considerable growth in the Skills and Training area, which had targeted small and micro organisations including those identified as hard to reach.  The committee was asked to consider the widening of this fund and of employers with up to 1,000 employees.  The committee agreed, with the exception that there needed to be a way of prioritising applicants.  The Verification Team would sample the programmes and maintain details of failure rates among other statistics.  Further funding would be made in two instalments.  It was envisaged that more applicants would progress through the Grants Scheme rather than this fund. Scottish and Welsh applicants were continuing to increase.  Greater London received 60% of national funding, however it was recognised that this may be distorted as a number of organisations had head offices in London and the funding may be supporting employees in the regions. 
  4. The committee was presented with the planned activities for 2017, specifically focusing on two areas, Commissioning Funding and Targeting funding.  The Regional Analysis on LFT LEP reports was approved.  The committee felt that the bidding windows needed to be open for a greater length of time than proposed, particularly that the productivity window will remain open until September, OSAT until October and Regional Analysis open in September/October.  Funding windows to be amended to reflect the periods detailed.  The committee approved the three areas identified for Targeting Funding: 1) Skills and Training Funding; 2) Targeting Apprenticeship Levy paying In-Scope employers; and 3) Federations opportunities to obtain funding.  The committee discussed the funding opportunities for non-construction activities.  It was agreed that the implications of funding apprenticeships in a wider content could be a possibility but there needed to be clarity as to what could and could not be funded and who could claim.  There was a need to engage with the supply chain as to ensure training lanes were maximised, however funding should not be awarded clearly if the criteria was not met.
  5. In 2016 there had been a high number of applications declined under Funding for Education Engagement, predominantly due to low levels of industry collaboration and failure to account for activities when awarded.  Therefore, it was proposed that a move towards commissioning be implemented in 2017, providing clear principles and outcomes from the outset and extend the collaboration opportunity to include charitable organisations to assist in the delivery of solutions.  The committee requested that a review of national work experience opportunities and funding be investigated further.

24 January 2017

  1. Consultation on the Levy proposal would commence, along with engagement on CITB’s future offer and Grants Scheme.  With the Levy Option having been determined, engagement and consultation would focus on whether the offer and reformed Grants Scheme delivered value for money for the levy.  The committee suggested that the difference between what was supported by the CITB levy and the Apprenticeship Levy should be made clearer.  
  2. It was agreed that CITB needed to provide a clear definition of what was meant by in-scope activities.  While generic transferable skills such as Management and Leadership could be accessed within training lanes, areas such as sales and marketing would need to demonstrate that they were construction-specific.    
  3. It was discussed how other areas that align with CITB’s objectives, such as the services delivered by organisations such as Women in Construction and Construction Youth Trust would be funded.  The committee suggested that CITB investigated whether a commissioning / tendering approach with a focus on what it wanted to achieve and inviting bids from those who will like to deliver.  
  4. There had been positive feedback regarding the intention to support employers to train across their supply chain.  It was agreed that apprenticeships and vocational qualifications were priorities for funding.  CITB’s research would be able to identify industry’s current skills, what was in the pipeline and what new skills would be required.  This would be used to agree priorities and funding with industry. 
  5. Having access to information on skills, via the National Training Register would help to identify skills gaps and therefore lead to a more strategic approach in planning and funding.  Training lanes would be regularly reviewed, and would provide an employer with information on an employee’s skills and therefore their training needs.  The design principles were agreed.  A review was being undertaken looking at how funding was provided to what were currently termed Specialist Apprenticeship Programmes. A project was currently underway to review Specialist Apprenticeship Programme funding with an objective to bring transparency to how the training was funded.  The aim was to align funding with the Grants Modernisation proposals.  Where training was covered by a training lane, funding would be aligned with Grants Scheme, with specialist training components accounted for.  Current funding included an up-front payment to employers to support provision.  This grant did not align with the new Grants Scheme principals.  It was proposed that an alternative way to support specialist provision was for CITB to work directly with specialist providers to procure provision.  It was stated that for NVQs outside of apprenticeships, the NVQ rate had been raised.  Work was being undertaken to gain a clearer understanding of how many days learners were offsite.
  6. The committee discussed the three proposals submitted for apprenticeship funding and options.  Further work needed to be undertaken to consider the impact of a change in volumes but it was anticipated that this would be minimal.  
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