You may have heard of the Construction Industry Training Board, or CITB, but not have a clear idea about what it does or what this means for you and your business. You might also be vaguely familiar with the CITB consensus process, but would welcome a reminder of your role in it. If this is the case, you are not alone, and this blog is for you.
Supporting training in the construction industry
The CITB was set up in the 1960s to help the construction industry attract talent and support skills development. It operates in England, Scotland and Wales, and there is a separate organisation for Northern Ireland.
It carries out three core functions:
- Careers – It promotes construction as a career, through programmes such as GoConstruct.
- Standards and Qualifications – It works with industry to define standards and qualifications, and works with firms to develop their own management and leadership capability.
- Training and Development – It provides funding to businesses to help them deliver training, including taking on apprentices.
We know some Master Builder companies use CITB’s services a lot. They may have received a grant through the Skills and Training Fund, which provides money to help small building firms train, grow and innovate.
The CITB helps some Master Builder companies with the costs of taking on an apprentice. Others take part in one of the CITB’s training groups, local networks of construction employers who 'club together' and use their collective buying power to get discounted training for their workers.
After lobbying the CITB a few years ago, we now have an FMB member on the organisation’s board, and Master Builders sit on CITB’s three Nation Councils.
Where does the funding come from and do I have to pay?
The CITB gets is funding from the construction industry. By law, it raises a levy – or payment – from construction employers. If you work in construction, and have at least one employee (either on the payroll, or as a subcontractor), you should be registered with the CITB.
Importantly, for many Master Builder companies, you only have to pay the levy if your total wage bill is over a certain amount. Currently, you will pay a reduced rate on anything under £400,000, and nothing if your wage bill is less than £80,000. You can use this calculator to work out what you might need to pay.
Having your say – consensus
Every three years, the CITB must ask construction employers about its plans to deliver skills and training to the industry, and whether the levy rates are sufficient to achieve this objective. This is called consensus.
The process was delayed from 2020 due to the pandemic, but it has now started. If you are CITB registered, and a levy payer, you may have been contacted by the CITB this week asking you to take part in a consultation. If you can, do take the time to share your views. It’s your chance to shape how CITB will work in the next few years.
The consultation will be following by the consensus question. This is a straight yes or no. But remember, it’s not about your views on CITB itself, only whether you think the levy amounts they suggest are sufficient to meet the training needs of the construction industry. If you are a levy payer, the FMB will get in touch with you again at the end of May to ask for your views. We encourage you to get involved and take part in the consensus process.