New rates would be introduced from 2022
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has proposed hiking its levy back up to pre-covid rates from 2022 as it launches a consultation into its funding proposals.
The skills body had suspended the levy, which is used to support training programmes across the construction industry, from April to September during the first wave of the covid pandemic.
It had then restored it at a reduced rate for 2021 after being forced to axe 110 staff – more than 15% of its workforce – and admitting the levy cut would see its income slump by a third over the next three years.
Its consensus vote, which is held every three years to secure a three-year industry levy order from the government, was also postponed in June last year.
Now the organisation is proposing taking the levy back to 2019 levels with a six week consultation beginning on Monday.
After the consultation, which will include a number of virtual events, the body will ask for the agreement on the proposals from levy-paying employers in its delayed consensus vote this summer.
CITB chief executive Sarah Beale, who is due to leave her post this September after just over four years in the role, said: “The feedback we’ve had now is that the industry wants us to proceed with running [the] consensus [vote] and we’ve agreed that now is the right time to start.
“We’re looking forward to talking with businesses from across the sector to understand their views, and explaining how we’ll use their money to provide the training and the skills that the industry needs.”
The new rates would be set at 0.35% for PAYE staff and 1.25% for taxable subcontractors, although the levy will be waived for firms with a wage bill below £120,000 and halved for those with a wage bill between £120,000 and £400,000.
During the consultation, firms will also be asked about the CITB’s 10 areas of greatest need for developing skills in the sector.
The body said it will then increase funding to these areas, which will include skills gaps, jobs shortages and the industry’s impact on the environment.