CITB has published its End of Year Progress Report. This performance report shows progress against a plan reprioritised significantly when the pandemic hit back in March 2020. CITB has indicated that they will continue to develop the simpler, more targeted plan and new delivery approaches (including the focus on digital), into this year’s business plan.
Highlights identified in the plan included:
- suspending Levy collection as businesses faced critical cash challenges.
- offering an advanced apprenticeship grant which saw £3.4 million paid to over 2,000 employers.
- providing e-learning and remote working, with remote learning and new courses ensuring qualifications were not a barrier to returning to work.
- Offering Covid-19 support which saw 21,800 people complete our pandemic health and safety eCourse
Encouragingly, as few as 248 out of 11,000 CITB’s apprentices were made redundant during the pandemic. More than half of those that were made redundant have been placed with alternative employers to help get them to completion, and CITB continues to support others who have not been successfully replaced to restart their apprenticeship. CITB grants have supported 23,322 apprentices, and 8,883 employers.
Employers proved to be much more resilient than expected in the reforecast at the outset of the pandemic meaning Levy receipts were significantly higher than envisaged and a total of £122.5m was collected. The excess of £48.7m will be carried forward and used on Grants Scheme and funding programmes in 2021-22 when Levy income is anticipated to be approximately £96m less than a normal year.
Grants and funding expenditure was £5.5m below forecast, however demand for advanced apprenticeship grants held up better than expected. Direct support costs for apprentices was also above plan, by £9.7m, making overall investment in apprentices £89.3m, £16.7m above plan. This was part-funded by lower than forecast claims of grants and funding (£14.5m) and savings in operating costs (£4.1m).
George Swann, Skills and Training Lead at FIS stated: “This report quantifies CITB’s activities between April 2020 and March 2021, the executive summary provides a snapshot. The detail gives an indication of what grants and funding employers can and should apply for and if the bid is aligned to the statements in this report you should be successful. If you need assistance the FIS Skills and Funding Clinic will help, just fill in the form at: https://www.thefis.org/registration-form/ and we will contact you.”