Effectively CITB made three significant announcements today:
Your levy liability contribution is going to reduce
The CITB are cognisant of cash-flow challenges that industry faces, but by law they must collect the Levy. The workaround is that they will continue the “Levy Holiday” until September (so you have nothing to pay until then). In August you will get your full Levy Bill for 20/21 (remember the CITB tax year is April), but you will have a choice to pay up-front or over a 12 month period to August 2021.
Next year’s Levy bills (21/22) will be delayed and cut by 50%. This bill can also be paid in one go, or spread over 6 months, September 2021 – February 2022.
This means an overall Levy cut of 25% across two years.
It is anticipated that levy collection will then return to ‘normal’ rates and collection periods from March 2022, but this will be dependent on Government’s decisions around the Levy Order and feedback to CITB from the industry.
You will not get a consensus vote this year
In such an uncertain backdrop with so much in the air, CITB are responding to feedback that their focus needs to be on helping the industry meet the challenges posed by COVID. The decision has therefore been taken to suspend the consensus process (that was due to run this summer), this has been agreed with the Department for Education.
To ensure CITB are in tune with industry needs they have been engaging with employers and industry groups to gather views on their plans going forward. We are told this process will continue over the summer, when CITB will be seeking the industry’s views on a skills strategy for 2021-23 and the Levy required to fund it. New Levy Proposals will then be put to the Department for Education to enable it to present a new Levy Order to Parliament.
CITB have published a new Business Plan
This CITB Skills Stability Plan 2020-21 is effectively the CITB business plan for the current financial year (to March 2021). It outlines how, they intend to support construction with the skills it needs, including assistance to recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Emphasis is on reducing the financial call on employers, supporting apprenticeships and direct funding for employers’ skills needs through the Grants scheme and the Skills and Training Funds. In the plan you can see the range financial commitments. CITB is working on the assumption that the effect of the above levy cuts will see levy income fall by £166 million over the two-year period (this is a little over 40% of the roughly £400 million previously forecast). Internal costs and expenditure have been reduced and these will be cut further. CITB currently has around half of its employees furloughed.
Have your say
During the last consensus process FIS was one of the two organisations that did not support the levy proposals during the last round of consensus. Without a formal consensus process, we need to ensure that CITB delivers for our sector and that your views are reflected in our ongoing discussions surrounding this with CITB, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and Government.
At this stage we would like to gather your initial views via this simple and short survey here. The proposals will be looked at in more detail by the FIS Skills Board. If you are interested in getting involved, find out more about the work of the FIS Skills Board here.