By Catriona Lingwood, Chief Executive of
Constructing Excellence in the North East
Earlier this week it was
reported that not many contractors are aware of and therefore not applying for
the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Skills and Training Fund.
The fund was introduced back
in 2016 to help small and micro employers and specialist federations with their
skills and training needs. The funds, available to levy registered companies,
vary in value depending on the number of PAYE employees;
• £5,000 for up to 49 staff
• £7,500 for up to 74 staff
• £10,000 for up to 99 staff
Smaller contractors are
missing out on this pot of money that is just sitting there waiting to be put
to use. Firms employing less than 100 people can apply for up to £10,000 a year
that could be used to pay for training for employees and have a huge impact on
how successful a business is.
Training company, Construction
Skills People (CSP), has been shouting about the fund and has since seen its
clients secure over £250,000 worth of funding to be used towards training. It’s
such a good initiative from the CITB, I don’t know why more people aren’t
shouting about it – I certainly will be. We need to ensure everyone knows it
exists and has the opportunity to benefit from what is essentially free money
to help them succeed.
Thankfully, the North East is
one of the better regions for applying and being successful in obtaining
funding but we still need to keep encouraging more SME’s to apply. Firms such
as Esh Construction and McCarrick Construction have already benefited from the
fund. McCarrick used the fund to upskill one of their plumbers meaning they can
offer more to clients and it saves them money each year. In the first year of
the funds being made available 60 North East employers had successful Skills
and Training Fund applications, totalling over £277,500 with approximately 700
beneficiaries; 17 micro businesses, 31 SMEs and 4 large employers all benefiting.
Jeremy Wright, CITB
Partnerships Manager said: “The CITB Skills and Training Fund is a great
opportunity for smaller North East construction employers to access funding to
develop a stronger skills base. We would encourage all CITB-registered employers
with up to 99 staff to visit our website and submit an application for the
fund”. It couldn’t be easier to apply either – what do you have to lose?
I’m always supporting training
initiatives, and this is another initiative that gets you one step closer to
giving your workforce the training it needs. The good thing about the fund is
that it’s not just for young people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for training
young people but we need to appreciate the upskilling and reskilling needs of
the existing workforce.
more information on Constructing Excellence in the North East, please contact
chief executive, Catriona Lingwood, on 0191 500 7880 or email email@example.com