Seventy-four per cent of people who responded to a Building web poll said they did not get value for money from the ConstructionSkills training levy.

Stephen Harvey, company secretary at concrete contractor John Doyle, said his firm got back in grants about 75% of what it paid to ConstructionSkills. He said: “People feel that if they apply for the grant the money they get back is not enough to meet their training needs.”

ConstructionSkills collected £165.4m in 2007 and redistributed about £137.7m in training grants. The body maintains that for every £1 of levy ConstructionSkills collected in 2007, the industry received £2.03 in total benefits.

ConstructionSkills also derives income from investments and government and EU grants.

Construction companies with a turnover greater than £76,000 must pay the levy by law. This means that more than 25,000 firms must pay 0.5% of what they spend on people they employ directly and 1.5% of any payments to labour-only subcontractors.

A total of 220 people voted in the poll.