CITB pilot tipped to ‘revolutionise’ how firms access funding for training

Tim Balcon

THE Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has announced an investment of more than £800,000 for the launch of a new employer network pilot project.

The organisation said that it could ‘revolutionise’ the way the construction sector accesses and receives funding for training in the future.

Over 3,800 levy-registered construction businesses will be eligible to benefit from the pilot, which covers Inverness in Scotland (provided by Scottish Civils Training Group), as well as four further areas in England and Wales.

CITB said that, whilst the pilot is open to businesses of all sizes, there is a ‘primary aim’ to ‘simplify’ the process for small and micro businesses to help place them at the heart of local training provision.

It added that, through the support of established and experienced delivery partners, the pilot enables employers to recognise their training priorities and receive guidance on how best to find and fund the training most appropriate to them.

As part of the new model, construction businesses will not need to access the grant scheme, as CITB is supporting the employer network to help organise and fund training directly. Many of the current requirements around training being ‘in scope’ will also be relaxed to ensure the pilots can be as reflective of the employer’s needs as possible, CITB said.

It added that training can predominantly be in anything that helps a business work better, whether that’s a construction skill; a health and safety course; a business skill; or a future skill need, such as net zero.

Tim Balcon, CITB chief executive, said, “I’m really excited about this pilot – this is about putting employers in the driving seat to identify and address their local skills challenges and how best CITB can align our funding and resources to support their skills needs. I would encourage employers in the pilot areas to get involved and use their voice to shape and engage with the local training provision.

“The pilots are being funded by CITB and delivered by local organisations with a pedigree in finding and delivering training in their area.”