Covid-19: CITB chief exec update – 9 April 2020


Good afternoon,

I really hope you’re keeping well.  Today my update summarises CITB’s support for industry since the outbreak of COVID-19 and looks ahead to the launch of our £5m Leadership and Management Development Fund next Tuesday.  Covering all of this support means the update is little longer than usual, I hope that’s OK.

CITB’s support for industry – a summary

As the COVID-19 outbreak has developed, CITB has listened to industry feedback and acted quickly to support employers during the crisis. I have made a video summarising our support to industry in recent weeks. 

One of the biggest concerns employers told us they faced was cash flow. To help employers:

  • CITB suspended levy payments for an initial period of three months to give firms breathing space and financial relief during the coronavirus crisis.
  • We refreshed the Skills and Training Fund expanding its scope, size and availability to help micro, small and  medium size businesses  with business sustainability and skills retention – key concerns during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • We brought forward the apprentice grants for years 2 and 3 . As of Monday (6 April) we received 1,800 applications, with £975,000 already paid out to employers, with the sum now approved being over £1M.
  • We have made a range of courses available through remote learning including delivery of the Site Safety Plus Health and Safety Awareness course, SMSTS and SSSTS refresher courses You can find more from your local centre via the SSP course locator.
    • We have seen hundreds of downloads of our new, free Health, safety and environment (HS&E) Test Lite apps for in-house interim testing to see if an employee is safe to work on site.
    • After listening to industry feedback, we extended our Advanced Grant support to Higher Level Apprenticeships. Advanced Grant is now available for apprentices in their final year of a higher level apprenticeship. This means we are supporting employers with apprentices who are close to achieving their higher apprenticeship – full details can be found here
    • Elsewhere, support measures introduced in only 2-3 weeks include initiatives to support business, apprentices, training providers and families.  This week we launched an employer support database, with information for construction businesses across the UK, which can be seen here
    • Meanwhile  over 10,000 apprentices and their employers have been contacted by our Apprenticeship officers to make them aware of support available. CITB’s partnerships team have also signposted over  1,000 employers to support available and sought to address their needs. They have helped companies to claim grant resulting in an additional £1.2million in funding paid to employers this week, with more being processed.
    • On Monday we launched the Go Construct Buildathon competition to support families and children (aged 5-12) across England, Scotland and Wales during the school lockdown. We’ve already seen a good number of registrations and volunteer judges.

£5m Leadership and Management Development Fund

Businesses and federations have urged CITB to make improving leadership and management for construction employers a priority area of support. In response, our new £5m Leadership and Management Development fund, aimed at larger CITB registered businesses, those with over 250 employees, will be launched on Tuesday. Available for one year the maximum amount of funding per bid will be £100k. The deadline for applications is 12th June. More information to come next Tuesday.

Finally, I’d like to thank industry and colleagues for their wonderful support during these extraordinary weeks and wish you all a very happy Easter.

CITB’s COVID-19 updates page is being refreshed daily and includes information on a range of subjects, including Grants, Funding and the NCC. 

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

Kind wishes

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive