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Covid-19: CITB chief exec update - 11 November 2020

Good afternoon,

It has been another eventful week, with a new lockdown starting in England (and ending in Wales), the announcement of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, and a new US President. Today of course is also Remembrance Day, when we pay tribute to those who sacrificed so much.

Today’s email brings news about the Skills and Training Fund; the Talent Retention Scheme; and our consultation on Training Group support; plus ways in which CITB is combating fraud, and the Lighthouse Club Christmas Cracker promotion.

Skills & Training Fund extension

The eligibility criteria for the CITB Skills & Training Funds were adapted in spring this year in recognition of the challenges being faced by industry, as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of our promise of flexibility, the deadline for the fund to revert back to its original purpose, to support productivity and innovation, scheduled for 1 December, has now been extended to 31 December 2020.

Any applications from 1 January 2021 will be reviewed under the original fund criteria that can be found here.

More than 1,000 candidates register on the Talent Retention Scheme

The number of candidates using the Construction Talent Retention Scheme topped 1,000 last week. Across the UK individuals have been tapping into the service provided by the Talent Retention Scheme (TRS) and last week saw this substantive milestone reached, with 1,034 registered candidates.

If you are recruiting or looking to restructure your workforce, have a look at the support on offer from the Construction Talent Retention Scheme including the list of talented candidates already registered. List your roles for free - or enquire about the redeployment scheme.

We look forward to the growth being sustained in the coming weeks and months ensuring that the TRS is able to act effectively match candidates to roles, while keeping skills in the sector.

Let’s fight fraud together

CITB has received reports of assisted one-day Site Safety Plus (SSP) courses and CITB’s health, safety and environment (HS&E) test costing more than £1,000. In fact the true cost of the HS&E test is just £21.

Training providers are being approached by “facilitators” allegedly offering to bring in large numbers of candidates and asking to use the provider’s facilities and registrations. Some of these facilitators offer cash as an incentive, but after the courses are delivered the cash is not forthcoming and the centre finds their standards may have been compromised.

CITB is currently conducting investigations along with law enforcement agencies. Quality assurance audits are being provided to training centres, and CITB’s fraud team also identifies and targets offenders, including through unannounced audit visits.

If you are approached by unknown facilitators please let CITB know and help prevent fraud at: report.it@citb.co.uk

Supporting Training Groups – industry wide consultation launch

At a time when many programmes have been paused, CITB has maintained its support for a nationwide network of local and specialist Training Groups (TG), so that employers who are TG members could access the local training they need. 

However, we do need to look at costs given that CITB will have significantly reduced levy income for the foreseeable future. At the same time, we need to consider what are the most effective ways to help companies to access training at a local level, while ensuring value for money and quality of provision. 

Today, we are launching an industry wide consultation on how best to provide support in future. This will help us understand the biggest benefits of Training Groups to employers and gather thoughts on the options we are presenting.

You can find the full options paper and the survey on our website. If you need more information, please contact our Partnership Team.

Lighthouse Christmas Cracker promotion

Christmas looks set to be a little different this year, and Christmas events also generate much-needed revenue for brilliant organisations like the Lighthouse Club, which provides financial and emotional support to the construction community. The Lighthouse receives no public funding and relies on the generosity of those within the industry to help continue its vital work.

This year the charity has put together a Christmas Cracker promotion, where companies can choose from a variety of e-cards they can send to employees, suppliers and sub-contractors. The promotion will raise revenue for the charity, and also means recipients have the opportunity to claim part of a prize pot of £25,000. For more details click here.

A reminder… 

The forecast for industry can be found in our recently published Construction Skills Network 2021-25 interim report. CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed regularly and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government. 

Best wishes and stay safe everyone,

Sarah Beale
Chief Executive