Through employer research and insight over the last few years, we have identified that employers of all sizes have issues with the current Grants Scheme in terms of what it supports, the complexity of the mechanism to claim grants and the need for it to provide greater support to help industry deal with skills gaps and shortages.
We also recognise that Grant needs to have a greater focus on activities that directly support Construction skills and training.
As a result, CITB has established that it needs to make sure that the Levy monies received are supporting a reformed Grants Scheme that will:
- Support Apprenticeships as a high priority to increase new talent entering the industry.
- Provide continued and improved support for higher qualifications including higher apprenticeships.
- Make the process of receiving grants simpler, quicker and more transparent and by doing so ensuring that more of it reaches smaller firms.
- Help to address skills issues by identifying areas of industry need and providing greater Grants Scheme support.
- Support employers to train their construction related workforce, including the supply chain, to industry agreed standards making the skills more portable between employers.
How do we measure success?
CITB will use its research and insight to check that the aims of the new Grants scheme are being met, but typically employers should:
- be able to attract and retain a better skilled workforce
- be able to develop their future management through Apprenticeships and Qualification support
- have less employees attending repeat training, so spending more time on site
- be able to trust that a prospect employee actually does have the skills and qualifications they claim to have
- see that the Levy, managed by CITB, is having a tangible difference on the success of their business through
- spending less money on recruitment as skilled recruits ready to work
- spending less time and money off site being trained because you only need the skills once as employers have agreed the standards applied
- trusting the supply chain’s workforce can deliver their skills to the same standard.
The final design of the new Grants Scheme has been reviewed by the Grants Scheme Rules Group and the Investment Funding Committee.
CITB established a set of principles for the new Grants Scheme that have helped assess how grant should be used and what training CITB will support. These principles are:
- Encourage training specifically related to the construction industry.
- Align to CITB’s Scope Order.
- Focus grant to support employers’ training their workforce to industry-agreed standards, so the skills achieved are universally recognised and portable.
- Support all Levy registered employers and their full sub-contractor workforce, delivering right across the supply chain.
- Use targeted funding to support industry priorities, enhance support for the areas where the need is greatest.
- Prioritise investment in areas where there is a long-term commitment and return on investment – such as Apprenticeships and Qualifications.
In line with the principles, the reformed Grants Scheme will be focused on:
- Construction and Construction related Apprenticeships.
- Construction and Construction related Qualifications.
- Short Duration Courses that are portable and agreed with industry are key to construction activities.
CITB has worked with industry representatives to agree the training that will be supported, estimated the likely take-up and priorities for industry, and established and agreed the rates for the different levels of training. To learn more see What's Changing.
This renewed focus means that the reformed Grants Scheme will not support the full range of business activities. The Grants Scheme will support training specific to the construction sector , but training for generic activities, such as HR, administration and accountancy and activities specifically out of Scope to CITB, will not receive grant support from 1 April 2018.
The Grants Scheme will also support preventative measures, such as Health & Safety.
First Aid training has been reviewed and while it is a mandatory requirement for most companies in Construction, it is not the purpose of the Grants Scheme to support training just because it is mandatory. First Aid failed the filter process CITB put in place; however, the CITB Board felt that we needed to continue to support the smallest companies to complete their mandatory duties and therefore for the smallest companies who are on the Levy Register but are below the Levy Threshold, Grants support for First Aid training will continue.
CITB will continue to collaborate with employers to review where training has a specific element identified as particularly relevant to the construction industry, such as mental health awareness training, which might benefit from support that is affordable.