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Covid-19: CITB chief exec update – 18 June 2020

Good evening,

Today’s email is a little longer than usual as I would like to bring to your attention a few matters: Fairness, Inclusion and Respect, the recent CLC People Survey results and the regular update on CITB’s support measures for industry.

Fairness, Inclusion and Respect

I'm sure you'll all have been affected by the worldwide campaigns calling for greater equality across our society over the past few weeks - there continue to be a number of inspiring voices on this topic. Diversity is an issue many of us are passionate about and as an industry we need to address - not only because it is the right thing to strive for, but an inclusive society and a more diverse workforce is better for all of us, including better for business.

Economic times are incredibly tough, but we have supported the development of a number of free resources for businesses to find out more and take action. These include the great Fairness, Inclusion and Respect materials available on the Supply Chain Sustainability School website and the Be Fair Framework on our website.

There are also strong examples of people from diverse backgrounds flourishing in our industry, which we were able to show as part of Future Made. These inspirational people show us how our sector is changing, but they also challenge us to do more to encourage the development of all that potential.

The Construction Skills Fund (CSF) is a project which seeks to recognise and tap into the potential of people from non-traditional backgrounds and supports them as they move into the industry. Of more than 13,200 learners who have emerged Employment Site Ready (ESR) to date, over 7,000 are from groups which have traditionally been under-represented – including females, people with disabilities, and people from black and minority ethnic heritage.

An open to all, diverse industry will be needed to make sure that we recover from the impact of COVID-19. Encouraging diversity will be a major consideration as we review our funding options in the coming months.

CLC People Survey

It’s essential that individuals and companies of all sizes are given the opportunity and information to help identify the immediate areas for action. And that we have good sources of data to help direct Government, CITB and all other channels to the right areas. That’s why it’s great that so many people, across the whole industry provided feedback to the CLC’s People Survey which was published this week. You can read it here.

I am also grateful to all of our customers that have engaged in our surveys since the beginning of the pandemic. Next week we will share more details about the results of our customer voice and training provider research.

On Thursday 25 June, CITB will update on details about the Levy, consensus and the measures we are taking to support apprentices and the wider skilled workforce.

Update on Recent Support Measures

Site Safety Plus (SSP)

We’re pleased to have been able to provide support to training providers and employers. Since the launch of remote delivery and re-introduction of classroom courses, 3,600 delegates have been accredited following successful completion of an SSP course – a rise of over 1,000 in the last week alone. For a full list of the centres delivering tutor led training use the course locator tool.

Test Centres

All Pearson VUE centres in England have now re-opened, with Internet Test Centres (ITCs) also gradually becoming operational. We are continually reviewing Government advice with our partners to re-establish testing in Scotland and Wales. The latest information and updates on test delivery can be found here.


CITB announced in March that it would pay grants for current second and third year apprentices in advance. Since then over £3.7m has been paid to 1,842 employers, supporting 4,197 apprentices in total. This includes the extension of the Advanced Grant support to Higher Level Apprenticeships, where £226k has been paid to 79 employers to support 368 apprentices.

Skills and Training Fund

To date we have allocated over £350k to successful applicants who have met the criteria of the Skills and Training Fund for micro, small and medium-sized businesses, launched on 1 April. In the coming months we look forward to approving more and we will provide updates on this fund following each award cycle.

Welcoming Pupils, Teachers and Families Into Construction

Due to the recent need for families to stay indoors, we’ve been holding Minecraft competitions for households to work together and experience the range of exciting careers involved in construction. 

The Go Construct Buildathon saw school pupils aged 5-12 undertake the virtual building work, but with families working together during the design stage instead of classmates. We’ve had some great entries which began shortly after lockdown in April and runs until July. It has provided great opportunities for families to learn together just how exciting and varied careers in construction can be. You can find more details here.

Support Documents

CITB has produced a range of checklists and forms to ensure those who are permitted and able to return to work have a clear understanding of how they can apply the CLC’s latest COVID-19 site operating procedures guidance in practice.

CITB’s COVID-19 urgent messages page is refreshed daily 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.

Finally, I would like to wish you all a lovely weekend. Stay safe.

Kind wishes,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive