Supporting training and retraining to rebuild after the recovery, improving productivity and making it easier to help employers bring in apprentices and other new entrants are key elements of the CITB’s Strategic Plan, launched today. (24/9/20)
Amid an unpredictable landscape, the CITB says it will focus on a smaller number of priorities to help modernise construction and increase productivity, collaborating with industry, governments and further education (FE).
As well as providing direct support to employers, CITB will use this period to help fix the system, making it easier to recruit workers into the industry and to access training. The pandemic created huge challenges but also the opportunity to attract workers who will see other routes into work blocked off.
Between 2021 and 2025, levy will be invested across Britain to:
- Support 28,000 taster experiences of construction and in Go Construct to help potential new entrants understand the opportunities in construction and how to access them;
- Give 19,000 people onsite experience to prepare them to start work in construction through onsite hubs;
- Create a new pathway between Further Education and employment available to 8,000 learners, including 1,600 apprenticeship starts as well as more learners starting jobs in construction;
- Raise the share of apprentices completing their programmes from 60% to 70% through allocating £110m to support learners and employers on top of grant support;
- Help employers to invest in training initially to rebuild after the pandemic but increasingly to modernise and raise productivity through the Grants Scheme and other funding. This will see over £500m (77% of levy) of funding to employers;
- Support employers to modernise by identifying the key competencies required, including those that support digitalisation.
CITB will also work with colleges and training providers to increase the number of learners becoming construction apprentices.
Sarah Beale, CITB chief executive, said: “The recovery presents construction with big challenges but also major opportunities to do things differently and bring a wider range of new workers into the industry. Our Strategic Plan will support employers to realise these opportunities by helping fix the system that brings people into work and supporting them to do the training they need.
“We will focus on a small number of areas such as providing new entrants with information and experiences, creating a new pathway from Further Education into apprenticeships and a job, and boosting the numbers of apprentices completing their programmes. We will also help employers to train by addressing gaps in provision, making training accessible and targeting funding where it’s needed, including through the Grants Scheme.
“Over time, a greater share of this will support employers to modernise and raise productivity.”
Sophie Seddon is people and culture director at SME building and maintenance provider Novus, and recently joined the CITB board as a trustee. She said: “For many businesses, particularly small ones, the focus today is on survival and recovery. But looking forward we make it much easier to join construction and recruit from a much wider range of backgrounds. The plan sets out how we can do that through supporting apprenticeships, work experiences and pathways from FE.”
The plan was developed during discussions this summer with employers, the major trade federations and associations and CITB board and nation council members, chiefly made up of employers.