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CITB unveils new direction: Investing in the construction skills system

Today, CITB unveiled its Business Plan for 2024-25. The new direction sets out to build on previous plans and shows how they will support and empower employers by investing £267m over the coming year.

The Plan presents a new era for the construction industry by addressing the immediate needs of employers whilst supporting a long-term strategic plan. The 2023 Industry Consultation highlighted three key areas for CITB support – getting more trained people into industry, the provision of high-quality training, and supporting the ongoing skills development of the existing workforce.

Nurturing new talent

Construction’s ‘people pipeline’ is critical to future growth for the industry and CITB’s plan invests in the need to attract and retain talented individuals. The successful launch of the New Entrant Support Team (NEST) in 2023-24 will be further expanded to contribute to the 15% increase in the number of new entrants joining the industry. NEST helps employers to better navigate the recruitment process, access grants and suitable training, when and where they need it. In addition, CITB’s new Industry Impact Fund will be further expanded, making direct funding available to employers to design and test new solutions for talent recruitment and retention challenges.

CITB’s Go Construct platform will continue to provide free to access, self-service digital careers information; inspiring new entrants to consider a career in construction and the built environment.

A paradigm shift in the skills system

CITB will also focus on developing new Competence Frameworks which will be used to develop qualifications that will support individuals throughout their training to make sure they have the right knowledge, skills, and behaviours to demonstrate safety and expertise in their chosen occupation.

Training accessible to all

Ensuring training is affordable, high-quality, and – crucially – accessible to all, is a cornerstone of the new Plan. To achieve this, CITB is expanding its newly introduced Employer Network, rolling it out across Great Britain, to enable local employers to set their own funding priorities and meet area-specific skills needs. CITB will also address the trainer and assessor shortage, creating additional capacity to deliver more of the training industry demands, as well as continuing to offer direct employer support through its existing funding and Grants Scheme.

By 2025, CITB aims to increase the number of employers supported to train and upskill their workforce by 14% and increase the number of individuals supported by 13%.

Becoming a beacon training provider

The Plan sets out how CITB will invest £30m in the National Construction College (NCC) to support its ambition for the college to become a beacon provider of construction skills training. The money will be invested in the three sites’ buildings, infrastructure, and plant, with sustainability at the forefront of these changes.

Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive, said:

"This year we have built on our previous plans to embark on a paradigm shift in thinking around construction skills and this Business Plan will help us achieve this.

"Our new Plan sets out how we will invest in the skills system to ensure it is fit for purpose and fit for the future. We will work in partnership with employers, from the smallest to the largest, so that the training demands of the construction industry can be met with high-quality training provision. Changing the skills landscape is not an easy task and not one that can be achieved overnight, but this year’s Plan is a significant step forward."

Read Tim's blog for more analysis of the Business Plan, and read more about the Business Plan by visiting: Business Plan (What We Do) - CITB.