Investment, innovation, and collaboration with industry – CITB accounts 2021-22
CITB responded quickly to a host of challenges faced by the sector by investing in apprenticeships, launching a range of innovative initiatives, and working collaboratively with industry, the organisation’s 2021-22 Annual Report and Accounts reveal.
The annual report, laid before Parliament on 7 November, shows that in the 12-month period ending 31 March 2022, CITB invested almost £50m of Levy to support over 22,000 apprentices, directly trained over 2,900 new recruits through the second phase of the Construction Skills Fund, and supported over 16,000 learners with grants to complete their qualifications.
Over the same period, direct funding was provided to over 1,600 businesses to invest in their workforce, while Grants Scheme helped fund over 269,000 training courses.
In total, £97m was invested in grant funding by CITB, to make it as easy as possible for employers to recruit and retain and skilled workforce.
Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive, said:
“Our accounts for 2021-22 show that CITB has acted quickly to respond to this year’s varying challenges. By investing heavily in apprenticeships, launching a range of innovative projects and programmes, and working collaboratively across the sector, we have remained fully focused on our purpose – our reason to be. That is to support the construction industry to have a skilled, competent, and inclusive workforce now and in the future.
“I would like to take this opportunity to recognise and thank the tireless work and collaboration of employers, federations, training groups, colleges, and everyone in between who play such a vital role in supporting our vision to create an innovative, world-class workforce. We have some way to go but clear progress is being made.”
Employers had concerns that there was a lack of work-readiness among new entrants, so in 2021 CITB launched new Onsite Experience hubs to bridge the gap between training and working.
There are now nine hubs across England and four in Wales creating a talent pipeline to meet the needs of local construction employers and to support construction career opportunities for people from local communities. The programme will result in 7,780 people becoming employment and site-ready with 3,350 people securing sustained employment within the next three years.
In addition, hubs in Wales are delivering onsite experiences to over 1,600 full-time Construction Diploma students to make them better equipped to enter employment on completion of their studies.
Recognising that specialist training can be difficult for employers to access, CITB took the view to retain their National Construction College (NCC) sites, which have seen continued investment to meet the industry’s training needs. By focusing our curriculum to respond to unmet demand, we are looking to build capacity for the industry, especially in areas such as access and plant.
Additionally, CITB worked with the Welsh Government to develop improved pathways from education to work, taking advantage of the new apprenticeship qualifications and creating a Welsh alternative to traineeships.
In Scotland, CITB worked with the government to ensure support was available to employers and learners where most required in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Working with Skills Development Scotland, the organisation used their networks to coordinate the employment of around 400 apprentices via the Government’s Apprenticeship Employment Grant.
The accounts also show that CITB has made a provision for a potential repayment to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for a historic issue. Discussions are ongoing between CITB and ESFA on the potential repayment, if any, is due.
During 2021-22 CITB also championed new forms of training, with immersive learning and digital leadership programmes using innovative technology to place construction at the forefront of digitisation to meet future demand.
378 STEM ambassadors represented the face of construction to young people, Go Construct provided over one million young people with outstanding careers information and 2,600 people accessing CITB’s Fairness, Inclusion and Respect materials.
Tim concluded: “It is really positive to see the impact that has been made, despite a difficult year with Covid and other challenges within the industry. I am looking forward to seeing what can be achieved in this next year building on some of our exciting initiatives. These include investment in CITB’s National Construction College; our Employer Networks to support more employers to take up training and get grant; more new entrant support and simplifying grant processes to make it easier for businesses.”