Construction employers have backed CITB’s Levy Proposals to support skills and training across England, Scotland and Wales, by way of the Consensus process.
The provisional result will now be taken to the Secretary of State for Education to make the final decision on the issue of a new, three-year Levy Order which, if approved, would be issued for 2022-2025. This will see the Levy continue at the following rates at 0.35% for PAYE and 1.25% for Net paid (Taxable) CIS Sub-contractors.
CITB will now get on with delivering this year’s Business Plan and working with industry to agree its forward plan. In doing so, it will listen to the feedback it received on how it can communicate its plans and impact more clearly and ensure its support is relevant, accessible and easily understood.
Overall, 66% or two thirds of the total number of Levy-paying employers agreed to the proposals, with 63% agreeing when measured by the total amount of Levy paid. This result was based on submissions from the 14 Prescribed Organisations (trade bodies representing employers across the industry) and an independent survey of 4,000 employers who were not members of POs. Eleven of the 14 Prescribed Organisations supported the Levy Proposals.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan said:
“My thanks go out to both the staff at the CITB for facilitating a complex process and to the employers, other members and reps for your active participation.
“This last 18 months have been unusually challenging for the construction sector and that is why the CITB decided to delay the consensus process from 2020 to 2021. I recognise that Covid-19, one of the key factors for the postponement, has not gone away. Therefore the sector’s willingness to engage with the CITB is even more valuable.
“The next step in the process to progress the Levy Proposals towards a Levy Order now rests with me, before doing so I will be considering the Proposals in detail.
“I know that the CITB will relish returning its entire focus to delivering skills provision for the construction sector at a time when it is more crucial than ever. I also want to welcome Tim Balcon in his new role as CITB CEO from 1 October and thank Sarah Beale for the great work she has done for many years in leading the CITB.”
Peter Lauener, CITB Chair, said:
“Construction has been through a tremendously difficult couple of years. CITB moved quickly to support employers by freezing Levy collection last year, cutting bills by half this year, and putting the right support in place.
“We will carry on with delivering our current plans and get started with shaping our future ones. I want to thank everyone who participated in the Consensus process this year – your input is invaluable and will help shape CITB’s support for you in future.”
Sarah Beale, outgoing CITB Chief Executive, said:
“At an extremely tough time, construction employers have demonstrated that they still believe that the Levy and grant system is critical in addressing the industry’s skill needs and their support for the Levy Proposals. In developing our future plans, we will listen hard to what employers told us in how we can ensure that the Levy works for them and provides support that is relevant, easy to understand and accessible.”
Tim Balcon, new CITB Chief Executive, said:
“It’s good that so much of what employers are asking for is already in the Business Plan, so we need to make support easier to access and understand and to keep the sector better informed.
“CITB is committed to maximising the value of the Levy for employers, providing practical and financial support for everyday training needs as well as tackling long-term skills needs.”
Commenting on the announcement, FIS CEO Iain McIlwee said:
“This is clearly not what the majority of our members voted for, but we now need to focus on the positives and start looking at how we work better with CITB as a sector to increase our levy utilisation. Whilst the FIS was one of the three prescribed organisations to vote “No”, we did see a higher proportion of members claiming levy in this return and supporting concensus and there is recognition in CITB that there are clear priorities to mobilise resources more effectively to support the growing skills shortages that we face in the finishes and interiors sector. We will continue to offer our free one to one skills clinics to members that focus on reviewing your levy return and ensuring that you are getting all you are entitled through the process and focussing all our efforts on how we can better utilise our levy to attack the shortages that are emerging in key areas.”
For a summary on all FIS Campaign to Attack Skills Shortages click here