Training body says it will climb out of the red this year after cost-cutting and lower training grant take-up

CITB-ConstructionSkills will invest an extra £25m in training programmes over three years, it announced yesterday.

The package was unveiled as the CITB said it will climb out of the red this year, after racking up a deficit of £24.7m during the recession.

The training body said cost saving measures, including a 20% reduction in staff, and a large fall in grant claims by the industry as it scaled back training had put it on course to make a surplus this year.

Today Building revealed that the CITB levy faces a major overhaul as the training body’s main income stream comes under increasing pressure.

This month the CITB board agreed to release extra funds for specific projects from 2012, including –

  • A cash injection of £2m in 2011/12 to the oversubscribed Management and Supervisory Development Programme
  • Funds £2m in 2011-13 to support specific training programmes for the specialist sectors not currently supported through the mainstream grant scheme
  • A further £11m of funds for the grant scheme in 2011-13 – details to be ratified by the Board in April
  • £10m in 2011-12 to support business growth and prepare the industry for the upturn. This will be aimed at supporting activities such as collaborative working through supply chains, upskilling the workforce to take advantage of the low carbon economy and pump priming investment in emerging technologies and new work practices.

James Wates, chairman of CITB-ConstructionSkills, said: “Whilst the last two years have been particularly tough for industry and CITB-ConstructionSkills, we are now in a better position to add value to industry by reinvesting this surplus.

“We know levy income will drop between 2011 and 2013 – just as the demand for grant will increase as the industry moves out of recession.

“Our projections, based on current analysis, show that demand for Employer Funds will outstrip levy in both 2012 and 2013 so we need to start taking a longer term view and ensure that some of the 2010 surplus can be made available further down the line to support employers when they will really need it.

“The good news is that we are now in a strong position to help employers at a time when they will need our support the most.”