The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has announced a major boost in funding to help employers take on construction apprentices.
From 1 April, CITB’s attendance grants to employers will increase to £2,500 per year, while achievement grants will rise to £3,500 for companies whose apprentice successfully completes their training.
This is an overall funding increase from £10,250 to £14,500 for each apprentice an employer takes on – an uplift of over 30% on existing rates.
CITB has decided to increase employer funding at a time when construction apprenticeships are falling. This is due to factors such as economic uncertainty caused by Brexit and employers adjusting to new apprenticeship reforms, including the Apprenticeship Levy.
But construction needs many more learners not only starting, but completing their apprenticeships and joining the workforce. CITB’s forecast shows the industry needs to fill some 168,500 new jobs over the next five years, and to grow much more of its own domestic workforce, given likely limits on future access to migrant workers.
Stephen Radley, CITB Director of Strategy and Policy said: “We know that taking on an apprentice is a big investment for employers who have seen the cost of doing this go up significantly in recent years.”
“These grant increases are designed to help employers of all sizes take on apprentices and ensure those learners complete their courses.”
“CITB support isn’t just about money, but we believe that this major rise in grant funding will improve both apprenticeship starts and completions in our sector.”
This announcement follows extensive consultation with employers across Great Britain through discussions, online surveys and feedback from employer events.
In the coming weeks, CITB will share further measures to support apprenticeships in construction.
Sarah Garry, Skills Manager of Build UK said: “We welcome the increase in funding for apprenticeships which should make a real difference for all employers, regardless of the size of their business. This is one piece of the puzzle. CITB and industry working together will ensure the apprenticeship process is easy to understand and is accessible for everyone.”
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders said: “The increase in grant funding is good news for employers in the construction industry, particularly small construction firms. It will allow SME businesses to take on even more apprentices, including for specialist courses in order to meet the construction industry’s demand for highly-skilled individuals.”