CITB report hails ‘quick response’ to sector challenges

Tim Balcon. Image credit: Peter Devlin

THE Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has revealed in its 2021-22 annual report that for the year ending 31 March 2022, the organisation invested almost £50 million of Levy to support over 22,000 apprentices, directly train over 2,900 new recruits through the second phase of the Construction Skills Fund, and support 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 the Grants Scheme helped fund over 269,000 training courses.

In total, CITB said £97 million was invested in grant funding 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.”

In Scotland, CITB said it worked with the government to ensure support was available to employers and learners where most required in response to the pandemic. Working with Skills Development Scotland, the organisation used its networks to coordinate the employment of around 400 apprentices via the Government’s Apprenticeship Employment Grant.

During 2021-22 CITB championed new forms of training, with ‘immersive learning and digital leadership programmes’ using technology to place construction at the forefront of digitisation. 378 STEM ambassadors represented the face of the industry to young people, Go Construct provided over one million young people with careers information, and 2,600 people accessed CITB’s Fairness, Inclusion and Respect materials.

Tim Balcon added, “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.”