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Construction’s biggest challenge

I’d like to start this blog by thanking everyone who has completed their CITB Levy Return.

Let’s be honest, paperwork is not an enticing task. However, it is a vitally important one where the Levy is concerned.

So, to all those who have met today’s deadline, I appreciate it, as do my colleagues.

To those who haven’t finished, or need help completing their Levy Return, this website page, will help you get the job done.

One of my biggest aims, as CITB Chief Exec, is for Levy payers of all descriptions to get value for their hard-earned cash through the grants and funding available.

I am keen to empower employers by helping them determine where best the Levy can be used to support skills development.

Our employer network trials, as mentioned in our new Business Plan, will test the concept of giving employers more scope to leverage grant in areas that will be most useful to them.

Maximising grant and funding take-up is a key part of tackling construction’s biggest challenge: reducing the skills gap.

Nation Plans

Skills are at the forefront of our new Nation Plans for England, Scotland and Wales.

The Nation Plans will be out in July will complement our Business Plan by reflecting the voices of employers. They show how we will work with national governments to support the construction industry.

Like our Business Plan, they focus on three key challenges: responding to the skills demand; building the capacity and capability of training provision; and future skill needs

However, given the different governments and approaches to learning in the three nations there are, of course, initiatives unique to each plan.

England

For example, one of the aims in the England Nation Plan is for CITB to work alongside Government and industry partners to prepare construction for T levels.

England will also see the launch of a comprehensive ‘Work Experience offer’. CITB will collaborate with training providers and employers to help make 4,000 work experience taster opportunities available.

CITB will also continue our work with the Construction Leadership Council to grow the uptake of both the Talent Retention Scheme and Talentview Construction (TC). Our aim will be 1,000 apprentices matched to roles through TC.

We’ll also continue working with local employers across England to convert experience into jobs through our Onsite Experience Hubs. In 2022-23 we aim to get 5,160 people site-ready or starting a new job through the hubs.

Scotland

At the start of this month CITB announced investment of £3m into Scottish construction.

This was to support people beginning their career and to increase job retention.

During 2022-23 Scotland will see more investment. This includes the launch of Scottish Academies for Construction Opportunities. They will boost recruitment by linking stakeholders to those who are employment and site-ready.

The Scottish Nation Plan also has details of an £8.5m contract with Skills Development Scotland to deliver 1,344 apprenticeship starts in 2022-23.

Wales

There’s a lot of promising careers-related activity planned in Wales, in the long and short-term, too.

For example tomorrow, our International Women’s Day events, postponed from earlier this year, take place at the CITB-funded Construction Wales Innovation Centre, along with Cardiff & Vale College, Coleg Cambria.

Year 8 students, and above, will hear from inspiring women who have pursued a construction career. They will also meet employers supporting the Careers Wales-supported event. My thanks to Kier, BAM Construction, TAD Builders Ltd, J Randall Roofing Contractors and Willis Construction.

The Wales Nation Plan will have details of the popular See Your Site campaign, Wales’ equivalent of Open Doors, which will be launched in November.

And a lot of work is underway to ensure employers are ready for the changes to apprenticeship qualifications which will be introduced in Wales in September.

Skills

There’s a lot to look forward to. Our new Construction Skills Network figures, published at the start of June, showed that an extra 266,000 workers will be required to meet UK demand by 2026 (53,200 workers per year, up from last year’s figure of 43,000).

The largest increases in annual demand will be for carpenters/joiners and construction managers, along with a range of technical roles.

It’s clear there are big challenges and opportunities on the horizon.

I’m glad that after listening to stakeholders’ views since Consensus ‘21 our planning is virtually in place. I’m looking forward to seeing CITB’s actions benefit industry.

If you would like to share your views on Tim’s blog, please get in touch via ceo@citb.co.uk.