CITB confirms lower levy rate ahead of consensus vote

Ian Hughes

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in Scotland has confirmed it will cut the levy it collects from employers in 2018-20.

The levy will be cut from 0.5% to 0.35% of the total payments made to employees (PAYE) while the levy rate will remain at 1.25% of the payments made to subcontractors who are taxed under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

The CITB recently completed its biggest ever consultation with industry, where employers were presented with the levy proposal for 2018. The proposal combined a reduced levy rate with a renewed focus on three construction industry priorities – making construction a positive career choice, ensuring employers have access to the training standards they need and developing a more skilled, professional and safe workforce.

The discussions contribute to a formal process conducted every three years by the CITB, which aims to secure the support of construction industry employers, known as ‘consensus’.

Around 6,000 levy-registered employers were contacted by CITB Scotland between February and May to request feedback on the levy proposals and priories. Details from almost one third of those contacted were gathered.

66% of employers in Scotland rated the levy proposal as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, 19% rated it as ‘average’ and 15% rated it as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. South of the border, 42% of respondents rated the proposal as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, while 31% rated it as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

The formal consensus will take place from July to September and employers and federations will vote on the outcome, which will then be ratified by UK Government.

Ian Hughes, CITB strategic partnerships director in Scotland, said the 2018 levy proposal offers a “bright future for construction”.

“In it, we’ve pledged to fund standardised training to deliver a workforce with relevant, transferrable skills. We’ll also provide more financial support where and when it’s needed, and we’ll reduce paperwork – making it easier for employers to benefit from the CITB grant scheme.

“It was critical that we consulted extensively with employers across Scotland to ensure they understood what this proposal means for industry, and to gain their feedback to help to shape the CITB’s future.”

He added, “We are pleased that this new, lower levy rate has been approved by the CITB Board and the industry-led Levy Working Party. Ahead of the consensus vote, we plan to share more details of how CITB will use funds raised by the levy to continue to help meet Scotland’s construction skills needs.”