Changes to CITB's Grants Scheme from 1 April 2018


CITB’s new Grants Scheme comes into effect from 1 April 2018. In the first phase, the new Scheme will make claiming grants for construction training and qualifications easier. It will also support standardised training that can be transferred as a worker progresses within the industry.

Over time, the Scheme aims to provide more effective support to help the British construction industry address skills gaps and shortages.

Who we worked with to develop the new Grants Scheme

We spent a few years developing the new Scheme, and applied an evidence-based and collaborative approach. We conducted research in 2016 with over a thousand employers about their training needs, paying particular attention to the views and needs of micro and small employers.

And to help us define what the Scheme should and shouldn’t support, we worked with:

The Grants Scheme principles

The new Scheme follows these principles:

  1. Encourage training specifically related to the construction industry.
  2. Alignment to CITB’s Scope Order.
  3. Focus grants to support employers training their workforce to industry-agreed standards, so that skills achieved are universally recognised and portable.
  4. Supports all Levy-registered employers and their full sub-contractor workforce, delivering skills across the whole supply chain.
  5. Use targeted funding to support industry priorities, and enhance support for the areas where the need is greatest.
  6. Prioritise investment in areas where there is a long-term commitment and return on investment.

The courses and qualifications that we will support through your new Grants Scheme start to align to these principles and have been assessed using a series of evaluation criteria:

What's new in the Grants Scheme?

  • Two previous short duration training grants have been brought under the umbrella of the Short duration course achievement grant. Only construction-specific training courses will be supported under this grant.
  • There is a cap on how many times an employer can claim a Short duration course achievement grant.
  • The amount that can be claimed under the Short duration course achievement grant is broken down into 3 tiers.
  • Instead of many different grants, there are now only 5 types of grants which cover short duration courses, apprenticeships, short- and long-period qualifications, and degree placement work experience.
    See new Grants Scheme for full details of the 5 types of grants available from 1 April 2018.

What's changed in the grants we're keeping?

  • Our Apprenticeship grants now include support for Higher Apprenticeships, that is level 4 and above (for England and Wales) and levels 10 and above (for Scotland).

    These grants will be reviewed in 2018 to ensure they remain fit for purpose and appropriately support this important area of training in our industry
  • We are continuing to support employers with the cost of Specialist Applied-skills Programmes (SAP).

    However, the support for training provision (of up to £4,000 per learner) will now be paid directly to training providers who have been approved via a commissioned funding application. Employers will therefore no longer need to manage payment for training provision themselves.

    Construction-specific short duration SAP training components will continue to be supported, and on completion of the vocational qualification (VQ), an employer can claim a £600 achievement grant.

    See Specialist Applied-skills Programme (SAP) training grant.

What's no longer available in the Grants Scheme?

  • The Specialist Upskilling Programme (SUP) grant has been discontinued. Employers can instead get grant support for their workers’ specialist upskilling and qualifications under the Short duration course achievement grant and Short-period qualifications grant.
  • Attendance grants will no longer be paid out for short-period qualifications. A grant will only be paid upon the trainee achieving the qualification.
  • Grant will only be paid for construction and construction-related training courses and qualifications. Training for non-construction courses and qualifications will no longer be eligible for grant.
  • The Supplementary Payment grant has been withdrawn. This includes payments for any training that started before 1 April 2018 and continues beyond this date. The exception is Apprenticeships which were started and registered prior to 1 April 2018, which will continue to receive Supplementary Grant until completion.

Evaluating the impact of the new Grants Scheme

The new Grants Scheme represents a significant change in the way CITB supports skills and training in the construction industry through grants. Naturally, we will be evaluating the impact of the new Grants Scheme over time.

We will soon commence work with industry to define and agree how we measure the impact of the new Scheme. Details of how we assess the impact will be published as it becomes available.

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