Weekly News Update – Training Group funding, HS&E tests & more

I hope the recent snow and freezing temperatures haven’t caused you too much disruption.

Today I would like to update you on the result of a recent consultation and subsequent new approach to funding for Training Groups, along with a COVID-delayed £1 fee increase for the Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) test. There have also been updates to Short Duration Standards, meaning new codes must be used.

Funding for Training Groups

In November last year we launched a consultation on Training Group funding and received nearly 600 responses. I’d like to thank everyone who participated, the views and evidence provided were very useful. It was clear from the majority of respondents that the Training Group model of support and network is highly valued by employers that access it.

As a result, CITB has now developed an updated funding model for Training Groups along with clear performance measures that focus on value for money, training quality and accessibility. The new Training Group grant will be provided to all Training Groups from April. Specialist Training Groups will be reviewed separately, with discussions beginning shortly.

To find out more about how Training Groups are supporting employers in your area, please get in touch with your local adviser.

Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) test prices

On 1 April 2021 we will be increasing the price of the Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) test products by £1.

This price increase was delayed by a year due to COVID-19. It will ensure that we can continue to invest in the test, so that it remains up to date against the expanding H&S requirements of construction and that delivery is accessible and trustworthy.

The new prices will be £22.00 for the test, the CITB HS&E revision test app will be £6.99 and mobile testing will cost £31.00.

You can book a test here, and if you would like more information regarding this price change, please contact the HS&E testing service team at hsetestdev@citb.co.uk.

Short Duration Standards update

As part of our continued improvements to the Construction Training Directory (CTD) and Construction Training Register (CTR) there have been a number of updates to Short Duration Standards. These updates can be found in the CTD section of the Urgent Messages page.

When standards are updated codes also change – you can find the most up to date list of Short Duration Grant codes here.

A reminder… 

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed regularly and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.

Best wishes and stay safe everyone,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive

Weekly News Update – National Apprenticeship Week and Annual Migration Survey

I hope everyone is enjoying their week so far. Today’s email details what we’re doing this National Apprenticeship Week, and some of the findings following the publication of the annual Migration Survey.

It’s National Apprenticeship Week!

Young people in England and Wales are learning how they can pursue a rewarding career in construction this National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), with events and conversations taking place across the country as our sector takes a leading role. With a quarter of a million new workers needed in the industry by 2025, and our Migration Report (more details below) showing that 16% of companies will look to provide more apprenticeships in response to the challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit, it’s a great time to be talking about apprentices and engage young people in the process.

What can you do?

Taking on an apprentice or utilising the new Construction Traineeship initiative is a fantastic opportunity for your business, although we do appreciate that many of you face challenging times. We’re asking you to post details of apprenticeship opportunities (details below), while our website has a range of tips and advice on how you can look at taking on apprentices. Young people looking to learn about becoming an apprentice can get some great information from Go Construct. Scottish Apprenticeship Week will be taking place from Monday 1 to Friday 5 March.

As the Government looks to our sector to be a trailblazer in leading Britain’s economic recovery, there are great opportunities and incentives for you to start getting new talent into your business and the industry. Up to £2,000 is on offer for each new apprentice an employer hires by March this year, with 19,000 applications for this fund received already. There’s also currently a £1,000 boost to help companies taking on new trainees, while CITB continues to provide funding and grants to support the industry.

CITB is spreading the word about construction and apprenticeships, highlighting real stories being shared by real apprentices. We’re holding a number of virtual sessions for aspiring construction workers across the country, explaining to young people, students and those looking for a career change why they should choose construction, and how setting off on an apprenticeship or traineeship can be the first step of their career.

We have activity taking place across our social media channels (Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube) using #NAW2021 and #BuildTheFuture, directing people to the GoConstruct.org website. We’ve already had some great content submitted this week, and you can still take part by:

  • Posting your apprenticeship opportunities on the National Apprenticeship Service websites England by clicking here, and on Welsh Government Apprenticeship Vacancy Service by clicking here;
  • Reposting content from Go Construct on your own social channels, using the tags, and;
  • Sharing your apprentice stories tagging @GoConstruct so we can see and share your posts.

This week is an opportunity for the construction sector to talk openly with young people and those looking for a career change about the opportunities they have to pursue a rewarding career in the sector, while also attracting new talent where people may be looking for a career change. CITB is committed to getting more learners from further education into jobs and apprenticeships, while also increasing the number of apprentices completing their training.

Publication of CITB’s annual Migration Survey

Our latest annual Migration Survey was published last Tuesday, with key findings showing that while a third of construction companies expect to provide more opportunities for British workers, uncertainty remains following Brexit. While there are challenges ahead for the industry, there are also opportunities, and we’re here to support companies to make the most of them.

With companies set to hire more British workers and take on more apprentices, the next five years will see CITB facilitate 28,000 taster experiences of construction and 19,000 on site experiences to help prepare students. We’ve also been working with government on a new construction traineeship to get more learners into jobs and apprenticeships, while increasing the number of apprentices completing their training.

A video explaining some of the key findings of the report is available to view by clicking here, with our news story explaining the report fully online here.

A reminder…  

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed regularly and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.

Best wishes and stay safe everyone,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive

Weekly News Update – National Apprenticeship Week, Migration Survey & more

I hope you are having a good week so far.  Today’s email includes a reminder about National Apprenticeship Week, publication of the annual Migration Survey, and details of our Annual Report and Accounts.

National Apprenticeship Week is coming!

Taking place between 8-14 February across England and Wales, National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) will see a conversation about the benefits of becoming an apprentice play out across social media, supported by contributions and campaigns from government, industry bodies and employers.

Construction plays a central role in NAW, which means the week is one of the best opportunities for construction employers to recruit highly engaged young people to apprenticeships.

 What are we doing?

CITB will be working in the build up to and during NAW to spread the word about construction and construction apprenticeships, highlighting real stories being shared by real apprentices.

Our main activity will take place across Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube using #NAW2021 and #BuildTheFuture, and we will be directing people to find out more about apprenticeships on the GoConstruct.org website.

How you can get involved

  1. Post your live apprenticeship opportunities on the National Apprenticeship Service websites England https://www.gov.uk/recruit-apprentice and for here for Careers Wales
  2. Repost Go Construct’s NAW content on your own social channels, using #NAW2021 and #BuildTheFuture in the accompanying post copy.
  3. Share your own stories of apprentices achieving – please tag @GoConstruct so we can share your posts more widely.

NAW is a chance for the construction sector to talk to young people about fantastic learning opportunities and careers in the trade, and in the current situation offer young people facing a future with a disheartening lack of possibilities an rewarding career, with a great employer.  And for us, it gives us the chance to secure the home grown talent we absolutely need!

Scottish Apprenticeship Week takes place on 1-5 March – more detail soon.

CITB’s annual Migration Survey

 The construction industry remains a dynamic sector and will need a quarter of a million new workers in the next four years. CITB’s latest annual Migration Survey finds that a third of construction companies expect to provide more jobs for British workers as the sector rises to challenges presented by Brexit and Covid-19.

Among the survey’s key findings were that 41% of employers will look to increase the skills of British workers, almost a third (30%) will provide more permanent jobs for them, a quarter (24%) will increase minimum salaries, and 16% will look to take on more local apprentices. CITB will do everything it can to ensure employers of all sizes are equipped with the skilled, motivated workforce they need to help rebuild the economy.

Annual review, report and accounts (2019-20)

The ongoing pandemic has affected everybody, so I hope you’ll understand why the publication of CITB’s Annual Review, Report and Accounts (2019-20) was delayed this year. However, the reports have now been laid before Parliament and show how we have invested your levy to support your business and help to provide the skills you need.

In 2019-20, CITB supported the training of nearly 250,000 construction workers. In addition, more than 15,000 construction employers and over 20,000 apprentices were supported by CITB and your Levy.

In the same period CITB provided direct funding for training of £105.1m to employers through the Grants Scheme, the Skills and Training Fund and Training Groups of which £76.9m was received by small, micro or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). An additional £28.8m was invested in specific projects, benefiting firms of all sizes.

Towards the end of the year, the impact of Covid-19 was beginning to be felt across the industry, but that cannot detract from the fact that our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) fell short in some areas that focussed on how CITB is perceived.  Now we need to work even harder as an organisation to ensure the industry knows about all support that is on offer, the impact that it has and that our customers get the right support to rebuild the economy.

Read the Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20

 A reminder…  

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed regularly and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.

Best wishes and stay safe everyone,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive

Digital Leadership – Spring Programme

Please view attachment – Digital Leadership – Spring Programme 2021 – GCTG


Developing Digital Leadership Skills in Construction SMEs

Improving business performance by adopting digital solutions

Digital Boardrooms – Peer support with digital and change experts

Digital Focus Groups – Exploring business processes

 Managing HR in construction SMEs 12 FEBRUARY 2021 12 February 2021

Digital Discovery Sessions – Raising the awareness of the tools available

To keep up to date with this project, please follow on social media:


LinkedIn – Gerald Crittle


Twitter – GCTGDigital



FW: Weekly News Update – online employer events, Construction Skills Fund hubs & more

Today I would like to invite you to online employer events where you can find out how to take part in consultation on the Levy Proposals 2022-25 and feed back on future support required for skills. There is also an update on how Construction Skills Fund hubs are adapting to the pandemic to offer free training for thousands of people; and insight into the take-up of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation among construction employers.

 Register now for online employer events

The online events in March and April will cover how we propose employers will be assessed to CITB Levy over the next three years. In the past year we’ve been in regular contact with many employers and industry bodies. The collection of the Levy Assessment in 2020 was temporarily suspended and the Levy rates for assessment in 2021 have been reduced by half. At the same time we have prioritised direct financial support for employers and apprentices.

Now, as we look at the best means to contribute to industry’s recovery in the months ahead, your view can shape the way forward. At the events we’ll share how Levy registered employers can take part in consultation on the Levy Proposals 2022-25 and have their say on the proposed areas of support for construction businesses.

If you are a Levy registered employer and wish to join us please register here.

 Construction Skills Fund: free training available

It is essential that construction employers are provided with the workers they need to help rebuild the economy in the wake of COVID-19. Now in its second phase, the Construction Skills Fund (CSF) continues to provide free training for school leavers, people who are long-term unemployed and career changers who want to join the construction industry.

Despite the pandemic, 14 learning hubs across England continue to deliver site-ready workers. To December 2020, 3,414 beneficiaries have started on the CSF2 programme across all the Hubs of which 2,376 have achieved employment-ready or site-ready status, and 885 have entered employment.

One practical problem has been that learners are sometimes unable to visit sites due to COVID-19 regulations. Here employers have shown great flexibility by recognising virtual learning approaches so they can continue training until site visits are able to resume. This means CSF is still on target to get 3,000 people into jobs by September 2021.

Find out more about how CSF can support you.

 Research: Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in construction

The pandemic has seen a much greater emphasis on technology and safety. We’re researching how industry can benefit from modern methods of construction, and asked 1,500 employers, 97% of them SMEs, if they used tools such as artificial intelligence and automation.

What the response showed was a belief that while present take-up is limited, Government commitments on decarbonisation to Net Zero, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, as well as the pandemic response will drive increased adoption in the near future, with implications for workforce retraining and new skills.

Smaller firms, in particular, will also need more support to access transformative technologies, which is why we’re working on pilot projects focusing on the needs of SMEs and the supply chain.

You can read the report here.

 A reminder… 

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed regularly and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.

Best wishes and stay safe everyone,

Kind wishes,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive

Weekly News Update – Site Operating Procedures, COVID eCourses & more

Despite recent promising developments with vaccines, COVID-19 continues to have a huge impact on our lives. With this in mind, this week’s email includes the latest site operating procedures, an update on the COVID eCourse ‘Setting up and operating a safe construction site’, and more information about HS&E Tests across England, Scotland and Wales. There is also an update on how employers can benefit from the establishment of the new Customer Engagement team.

Site Operating Procedures

Following the CLC update of Site Operating Procedures (v7) last week, we have updated our supporting COVID-19 Site Safety Checklists and Forms to assist construction employers. The resources will ensure that those who are permitted and able to return to work have a clear understanding of how they can apply the new Site operating procedures in practice.

COVID eCourse Update

Over 10,000 people have already taken our FREE COVID-19 H&S course since its launch at the end of October 2020. Since then the country has entered its third lockdown and we’ve made updates to the course on a regular basis to ensure it remains relevant, including the most recent SOP guidance (v7) from the CLC.

HS&E Tests

There have been updates to the provision of HS&E Testing across all three nations. Testing remains in place in England and has resumed again in Wales, but in Scotland, updated government guidance has meant we have ceased delivery of testing. Ensure you check our Urgent Messages page for the latest information before trying to book.

The Customer Engagement Team: supporting employers and apprentices

CITB’s new Customer Engagement team, bringing together our Partnerships and Apprenticeships teams is now established and has a remit to engage with industry, partners and stakeholders on all elements of CITB’s offer, and to make sure we are continually aware of the support needed. The remit includes a focus on support to recruit and retain apprentices and to support and guide employers on the transfer to Apprenticeship Standards and the still new Digital Apprenticeship Service.

We will also continue to support employers with the claiming of Apprenticeship Grant.

If you are an employer and wish to find out more, please contact the Customer Engagement team at customerengagement@citb.co.uk

A reminder… 

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed regularly and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.

Best wishes and stay safe everyone,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive

SWQR January 2021 update

Street Works Card Production – January 2021

In accordance with government advice, card production for Operatives and Supervisors will cease from 14 January until 31 January.  The decision on whether card production can resume in February will be posted on this website and will be based upon further updates and levels of restrictions imposed by government.

What does this mean for centres and candidates?

Centres and candidates should continue to submit applications to Street Works as normal, we will respond to emails and answer phone enquiries 09:00 – 17:00, Monday to Friday.  All applications sent to us will be held by Royal Mail and processed when we return to our offices.  Please call us for urgent enquiries only.

Can Street Works confirm to employers / inspectors that I am on the Register?

Street Works can confirm to the candidate via e-mail if:

  • we have received and processed your application;
  • you are on the Register;
  • your card has still to be printed.

Can I submit my applications electronically?

Street Works will shortly be publishing a digital application form, which will be available on our website for candidates and centres to submit their applications.  We will also be contacting centres with high volumes of applications to submit these via SharePoint.

How do I make sure I am kept up to date with any changes?

You can sign up to our License Reminder and Alerts service on our website at https://www.swqr.org.uk/SWQR/subscribeToAlerts,  You can also check our website for our regular updates on changes to our application processing etc.

Weekly News Update – Site Operating Procedures, expiry of SSP certificates & more

Today’s email contains an update on the latest Site Operating Procedures; news on the expiry of Site Safety Plus certificates; details of how to access a communications toolkit to support the Construction Talent Retention Scheme; and finally, an extension to the consultation on Training Group funding.

Following the announcements last week of further lockdowns across England, Scotland and Wales, we now know that these are likely to stay in place for all of the UK until at least the end of the month, if not longer. However, construction remains operational, and the Business Secretary has emphasised the industry’s pivotal role in the economic recovery in a recent open letter. For this reason, it’s even more important that workers follow guidelines and understand how to safely operate during these difficult times.

Staying safe from COVID on-site

In accordance with the latest Government guidance in England, the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures have been updated. The changes in Version 7 are minor, including updated guidance on self-isolation and shielding. However, with a more contagious variant of COVID-19 rapidly spreading, it’s essential that workers have a clear understanding of how they can apply the guidance in practice to maintain the highest possible standards on-site. Therefore, CITB’s COVID-19 – Site safety checklists and forms are currently being updated. Please follow our social channels and Urgent Messages page for the latest information.

Site Safety Plus certificate expiry

In response to various feedback, I can confirm the introduction of a revised grace period to Site Safety Plus certificates. This will provide support to delegates who are unable to access a Site Safety Plus refresher course, due to the new lockdown measures.

All delegates now have until 30 April 2021 to join a SSSTS/SMSTS refresher course, if their current certificate expires after 1 October 2020. Any delegate whose certificate expired before the 1 October 2020 and does not attend a refresher course before 31 January 2021, will be required to join a full SSSTS/SMSTS course, rather than the refresher equivalent. Find the centres delivering remote refresher training here.

Construction Talent Retention Scheme communications toolkit

The Construction Talent Retention Scheme, designed to match individuals seeking both redeployment and new employment in construction with businesses in need of their skills, now has its own communications toolkit. With a range of downloadable materials, text and graphics, the toolkit can be used to promote the scheme in your organisation’s communications and play an important role in assisting an employer or skilled worker. The toolkit will be frequently added to, refreshed and updated, so it’s important that you check back regularly to receive the latest information.

Training Group consultation

In a previous update, I informed you of the funding CITB provides to a network of Training Groups, and invited your views on the best ways to help employers’ access training at a local level. Following requests from several organisations, we have extended the industry consultation on Training Group funding, to ensure as many employers and interested parties have time to submit their feedback. Therefore, you now have until 5pm on 29 January 2021. More information and a link to the survey can be found here.

Celebrating apprentices

With national apprenticeship weeks coming up shortly in England and Wales and then in Scotland, we are very keen to celebrate the contribution that apprentices are making to our industry and to society. If you have examples of exceptional apprentices, particularly if they have been working on-site during the COVID-19 period, please contact press.office@citb.co.uk.

A reminder…

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed regularly and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.

Best wishes and stay safe everyone,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive

Construction support

Hi folks,

Hope this finds you well in these strange times.

I am looking for help and support with my Construction class this year. Obviously we had an excellent partnership last year with KEIR Construction who supported the class whilst building our fantastic new school. Many thanks to them for such an awesome building. This year we were looking for a new industry partner to help support the class but COVID-19 saw to that! I have 6 practical units still to deliver – bricklaying x 2, painting and decorating x 2, plumbing and electrical.

We have a lovely external fenced space to complete the bricklaying and possibly (weather dependant) the other units in.

As this is a new course to Alness Academy we do not have any of the materials required to complete the units – KEIR Construction provided these last year.

Would any of you be able to support us this year? Or know of any support? Ideally the materials required, I,e; bricks, lime mortar etc. as I can deliver the units myself, however last year KEIR Construction provided the contactor once a week to help support the class. This could be a socially distanced visit to work in our outside space or perhaps a virtual meeting? I know this is not ideal but I have some great children here who want to learn all about the construction industry and improve their lives by getting a trade.

Any thoughts please drop me a message,


 Tracy Robertson

Alness Academy

Faculty Head of Art,Design and Technology,

Education,Culture and Sport Service,

Highland Council

01349 883341 Work

07784026329  Mobile



Site Safety Plus certificate expiry

Following the CITB communication on 06 January 2020, regarding the grace period for SMSTS/SSSTS certificate expiry, CITB can confirm the introduction of a revised grace period, to support delegates who are unable to access a refresher course due to the new lockdown measures implemented across the UK.

All delegates now have until 30 April 2021 to join a SSSTS/SMSTS refresher course, if their current certificate expired after the 01 December 2020.

CITB will continue to review the situation on a regular basis and will communicate any further updates if Government advice changes.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your understanding and continued support at this difficult time.

If you require any support with delivering courses remotely or have any concerns/queries, please email: sitesafetyplus@citb.co.uk

Stay safe and stay well.

Kind Regards,

The Site Safety Plus Team