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CITB's highlights of 2017

2017 saw the launch of our biggest-ever Levy consultation and the start of major reform at CITB.

During CITB’s triennial Consensus process 14 federations and 4,000 non-represented employers were asked if they supported the proposed levy rate.

Our levy offer was backed by the sector - but qualified by calls for reform. So, following feedback from industry, Government and the findings of the ITB Review, CITB launched our bold future offer: “Vision 2020: The Future CITB” in November.

2017 also saw the full-time appointment of our Chief Executive, Sarah Beale, an “outstanding” rating from Ofsted and figures showing record numbers of people are starting construction apprenticeships.

CITB also launched its thought leadership approach to the sector which, supported by the publication of White Papers and range of other evidence-led reports enabled us to lead the debate in Future Skills, Migration in Construction Sector and Offsite manufacturing to name but a few. Taken together these successes signal our decision to prioritise on careers, standards and qualifications and apprenticeships is really beginning to deliver.

In Scotland the Modern Apprenticeship (MA) programme grew significantly with CITB delivering 1,925 Modern Apprenticeships - the sixth consecutive year of growth. 

In Wales CITB co-launched a review of construction qualifications, won praise from the First Minister for its work with the Government and saw work begin on the Construction Wales Innovation Centre.

Here’s our review of a busy year.


We unveiled our levy proposal in January. The offer was developed with input from industry and in agreement with the industry’s Levy Working Party.


February saw the launch of our biggest-ever Levy consultation, the publication of the annual CSN figures and the launch of Buildforce, a CITB-funded initiative to help ex-military personnel into construction careers.

CSN figures revealed  a third consecutive year of output growth in Wales was predicted to be stronger than in any other part of the UK.


Our 3D construction app won the UK Career Development Award in March and our figures revealed that construction apprenticeship starts were at a record high.

In Scotland young women in the borders gained an exciting insight into a potential career in construction at a major CITB educational event.  Young people were also to the fore at the launch of Open Doors, a campaign aimed at attracting more people to the sector.

At the end of the month, CITB signed the UK-wide ‘Strategic Skills Partnership Agreement’ which will equip industry with the skills for the continued use of traditional building stock.


April saw the publication of a major CITB research report Faster, Smarter, More Efficient: Building Skills for Offsite Construction.


At the end of May a new online training course, BIM for Site Managers, was launched by BRE Academy and CITB.


Following consultation with employers and educators CITB Scotland ensured a set of nine, new, craft Scottish Vocational Qualifications.

Also in June a major CITB report – Migration and Construction: The view from employers, recruiters and non-UK workers - revealed that a third of firms employ migrant workers.


In July Sarah Beale was appointed CITB CEO on a permanent basis and CITB launched the next stage of the Consensus process. By July CITB had completed its biggest consultation ever, hosting 38 employer events, attending 79 others, meeting over 2,000 companies face-to-face and speaking to many others by phone.

During July three Government Ministers, including Skills Minister Anne Milton, wrote to CITB Chairman James Wates CBE to inform him they back CITB - but that it was conditional on a programme of reform.


August kicked off with work commencing on the CITB-funded Construction Innovation Wales Centre which will see a minimum of 1,000 people trained annually.

Meanwhile the Scottish construction industry launched an appeal for new, diverse talent. CITB also made a major £700,000 investment into revolutionary technology in August, to help train the next generation of plant operators.  


In September “The Impact of CITB Project Funding” report highlighted how levy payers’ money is used to increase training, qualifications and promote construction careers.  Later that month CITB’s “A New Reality: Immersive Learning in Construction” research showed how digital technologies can modernise the sector.


CITB’s proposed Levy rate was backed by industry in October – alongside calls for reform.  Wide-ranging Industry reaction emphasised the need for CITB to modernize and re-purpose the organisation to meet the expectations of construction employees in the modern world. 


November began with CITB’s response to call for reform with the publication of our future offer: Vison 2020: The Future CITB.

During a busy month CITB received an outstanding rating by Ofsted for the second consecutive time.  Meanwhile Leicestershire apprentice stonemason, Theo Brogan, won top prize at the 2017 CITB Apprentice Awards.


A new research study - Construction Skills Gap Analysis for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership - marked the end of a busy year of research by CITB.

We hope you enjoyed reading our 2017 highlights. We look forward to sharing more with you in 2018, a year which promises to be one of transformation for CITB.

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