Our Commercial Manager and funding expert, Adrian Mitchell, has been busy studying the changes to the forthcoming CITB Grants Scheme. Here he asks and answers some of the most pertinent questions!
Why has the CITB grants scheme been revised and updated?
The construction industry is facing a number of challenges over the next few years such as responding to an ageing workforce, the need for substantial house building, the impact of Brexit and the modernisation of work practices such as digitalisation, new materials, modern methods and off-site construction.
This will require an increase in the number of apprenticeships and employers are being encouraged to make full use of the government’s apprenticeship levy and funding incentives, supplemented by CITB’s grants.
How is the CITB grants scheme changing?
The government wants the CITB to be more accountable to the construction industry, particularly to smaller employers.
In response to a recent government review and industry consultation, CITB is changing the way it supports training for the construction industry. Part of this change involves the launch of new products and services.
CITB is developing a new list of training programmes, qualifications, courses and standards attracting grant funding which comes into effect from April 2018. These can be viewed on the new Construction Training Directory.
What is the Construction Training Directory?
The Construction Training Directory is an on-line service where employers will be able to source training for their employees, confirm employee or potential employee achievements and to receive automated CITB grant payments. Employers will be able to claim grants more simply and efficiently in the future.
Employers will be able to identify construction training courses, tests and qualifications delivered by CITB Approved Training Organisations (ATOs). The training provision published on the Directory will be eligible for grant funding. Employers can choose a provider to meet their training and skills development needs based on location, price and timing.
On successful completion of a qualification, training programme or course the ATO will confirm the learner’s achievement, upload the details onto a Construction Training Register which will trigger an automated grant payment to the employer.
This will speed up the grant payment process and remove the need for employers to complete paperwork claims.
Employers will be able to check the skills and competence of their workforce and new recruits by accessing the on-line Construction Training Register.
What CITB grant funding support will be available?
From 1 April 2018 grants scheme support will be paid primarily for Apprenticeships, CITB approved qualifications and CITB approved short duration courses with a defined training outcome.
What CITB grant funding support will be available for Apprenticeships?
Level 2 (Intermediate) Apprenticeship
Off-the-job attendance grant – year 1 = £1,965
Off-the-job attendance grant – year 2 = £1,660
Achievement grant = £2,375.
Total = £6,000
Level 3 (Advanced) Apprenticeship
Off-the-job attendance grant = £1,125
Achievement grant = £3,125
Total = £4,250
Level 4 and above (Higher and Degree) Apprenticeship
Off-the-job attendance grant = £1,125 per year
Achievement grant = £3,125
Total = £5,375 – £7,625 (typical range)
Grant payments will be paid in quarterly instalments irrespective of actual number of days spent training off the job.
What about apprentices who started before April 2018, in respect of whom employers currently receive grants?
Apprentices who started before April 2018 and qualified for grant payment support will receive an enhanced rate of 10% on their apprenticeship grant for the remaining duration of the Apprenticeship.
What CITB grant funding support will be available for qualifications?
Grant payments will be available to support the achievement of stand-alone qualifications such as NVQs. In some cases, attendance grant payments may also be made for longer duration training leading to the achievement of qualifications.
The achievement grant for short-period qualifications has been increased to £600.
Longer duration qualifications involving over 30 days classroom training and course work over a period of at least 12 months or more can attract an attendance grant of £1,125 and an achievement grant of £1,875.
What CITB grant funding support will be available for training courses that are not linked to qualifications?
A number of short duration training courses will attract grant achievement payments of £30, £70 or £120 depending on their content, duration and level. Training provision must be less than 30 days duration and will be construction trade or skill specific or could also be health and safety or supervisory or management related training. CITB have currently approved more than 500 such training courses as being eligible for grant funding.
Is there any other support available?
Grant payments will continue for the provision of a work placement for a degree student. The grant rate is £30 per day for a maximum of 240 days.
Specialist Applied-Skilled Programmes (SAPs) developed in conjunction with trade associations and federations will attract grant payment funding. These are delivered for employees similar to official apprenticeship programmes, pending the development of new formal apprenticeship standards. Trade areas covered include a range of specialist roofing and heritage occupations. Training delivery will be funded at the short duration training courses rates of £30, £70 or £120 and NVQ qualification achievement will be funded at the short-period qualification rate of £600.
Specialist Upskilling Courses (SUPs) will also attract grant payments. They are designed for experienced practitioners looking to enhance their existing skills and gain an NVQ qualification in a specialist occupation or for individuals with a construction background moving into a related specialist occupation area of construction and undertaking an NVQ qualification. Bespoke short duration courses can also attract grant payments. Training and qualifications can be undertaken in a range of trade areas including drylining, external wall insulation and roof slating and tiling at Level 2 and a range of heritage occupations at Level 3 and 4. Training delivery will be funded at the short duration training courses rates of £30, £70 or £120 and NVQ qualification achievement will be funded at the short-period qualification rate of £600.
Will the current supplementary grant payments still continue?
The payment of supplementary grant payments to employers for submitting their levy return and paying their levy assessment on time will be withdrawn from 1 April 2018. This will include supplementary grant payments for both training that commenced before this date and continuing beyond it.
Where can employers get further information, advice and guidance?
Simian can provide further information, guidance and support on scaffolding training and general funding and grant arrangements. Please call us on 0345 602 2418 or e-mail us at email@example.com. You can also access our question and answer brief on the government’s apprenticeship levy via our website at www.simian-risk.com.