Supporting employers’ core skills and training needs and tackling long-term people and skills challenges underpin CITB’s 2021/22 Business Plan.
Some £140 million of industry Levy will be invested in 2021/22 in funding for employers to train and in employer support and services. This investment of 94p out of every pound of Levy CITB receives will be targeted at industry’s priorities to ensure Levy in means skills out.
The targeted investments in Careers, Training and Development, and Standards and Qualifications reflect input from employers on their priorities, including CITB’s Nations Councils for England, Scotland and Wales.
There will be significant Levy investment in crucial areas like apprenticeship support, work placements, building bridges from Further Education into construction and direct funding to employers for training. Enhanced funding support will increasingly focus on the most in-demand skill areas required to deliver accelerated homebuilding and infrastructure and wider challenges such as boosting productivity, building safely post-Grenfell and Net Zero carbon emissions. This will include key trades and wider challenges such as leadership and management, digital skills and retrofitting.
The Business Plan also closely aligns with the joint recovery plans with governments in all three nations, including the Construction Leadership Council’s recently published Industry Skills Plan. Next week, CITB will also publish Nations Plans for England, Scotland and Wales, agreed with Nations Councils.
CITB chief executive Sarah Beale said: “This Business Plan is based on listening to the industry and investing in what it has told us is important to it. As promised, we’re targeting Levy at fewer initiatives to ensure industry funds work hard and tackle priority issues. The plan strikes the right balance between employers’ current needs and future skills challenges.
“We will continue to work in partnership with industry to help attract talent and make it easier for new entrants to join, while giving employers the right support and access to training to upskill their people and retain vital skills. This work will put construction in a strong position to grow, improve productivity and become an inclusive, even-more-rewarding sector in which to develop a career.”
CITB will support changes to make securing a role in construction much more appealing and easier to access. Inspiring people from school age through STEM Ambassadors and skills competitions then providing engaging information about Careers through Go Construct, which will signpost to where to go next, be that training, one of the 4,200 taster experiences that we are working with employers to provide this year, or where to find a job.
CITB will invest in and support onsite training hubs across England and Wales, providing 3,650 work experience places, delivering 2,500 new entrants ready to work onsite and join construction. CITB will be part of the delivery team providing an industry-wide Talent Management system to support early career opportunities in addition to the Construction Talent Retention Scheme. Together they will provide easy access to a range of opportunities and help employers to draw on a wider talent pool.
Training and Development
CITB reacted to the pandemic by ramping up e-learning so that training could be delivered wherever and whenever it was needed. This included a vital new Covid eCourse, and we will further develop this approach to e-learning this year.
Apprenticeships will see a total investment of £79m in 21/22, to support the increase in quality and volume employers need. Of the 11,000 apprentices supported by CITB during the pandemic, by working closely with employers and learners, we ensured only 1.2% were lost to the industry.
CITB will continue to provide the Health, Safety and Environment Test and Site Safety Plus courses, together taken by over 500,000 and 170,000 people respectively in 2019/20. We will work together with providers and support training through the National Construction College to help employers access the training they need, including specialist areas such as scaffolding and plant. CITB will also invest £1m in specialist skills which are vital to ensure those skills survive.
Just four out of ten FE construction students currently go into an apprenticeship or a job in the sector construction, and CITB is determined to improve that. We are working with government, providers and employers in all three nations to address this, including helping to develop Construction Traineeships in England.
Standards and Qualifications
A key focus from 2021 will be working closely with employers to agree the key knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to ensure they have a competent workforce to meet the challenges they face. We will collaborate with qualification providers and key government bodies in all three nations to ensure that the key standards and qualifications support employers to invest in competent workforces.