The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) today 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.
Commenting, CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “We are delighted to see this increase in funding, which will enable CECA members to continue to take on apprentices and build the workforce of tomorrow.
“In particular, this funding will enable CECA members who are SMEs to invest in apprenticeships, including in the specialist areas that our industry requires.
“It is vitally important that we train tomorrow’s workforce today, and I look forward to working further with CITB and other bodies to ensure the skills are in place to enable our members to deliver world-class infrastructure in all parts of the UK.”