Grants Scheme Changes – Grants being adapted or withdrawn

Good afternoon,

As an employer who has previously claimed Degree-placement Work Experience Grant and/or the grant to support Additional Plant VQ Units, we wanted to make you aware of CITB Grants Scheme changes that may affect you in the near future.

Following the decision in June to cut Levy bills by 25% across the next two years – CITB has seen its income reduce by £166m. Despite this reduced income, we have accelerated Apprenticeship Grants and prioritised Apprenticeship Support and Direct Employer Funding within our Skills Stability Plan.

However, part of our ongoing work is to regularly assess the value provided to industry by the Grants Scheme. With Levy income reduced, it is imperative that we apply the appropriate scrutiny to the grants that we provide. Now more than ever we must ensure they are focussed where they are needed most and deliver significant value to the industry. These changes have been made with due consideration to impact and are balanced in terms of fairness across the grant scheme itself.

Degree-placement Work Experience Grant – £10,000 per employer cap introduced

One of the biggest barriers into the construction industry for new entrants is work experience.

The Government funded Construction Skills Fund (CSF) is part of the government’s National Retraining Scheme in England. The scheme aims to support innovative ways of training new entrants and retraining adults in areas for which public funding is not available.

Administered by CITB, it has proved highly successful with over 13,200 learners emerging employment and site-ready. We will therefore continue to invest Levy (£12.8 million) into onsite hubs to prioritise work experience, and have committed to have a number ready from the start of 2021.

We have prioritised the significant investment in the onsite hubs over long term future support to the Degree-Placement Work Experience grant. Last year, this grant was claimed by only 108 employers, with 50% of those claiming less than £10,000.

We are therefore introducing a cap of £10,000 for the Degree-Placement Work Experience Grant, for training undertaken from 1 April 2020 – 30 September 2021. £10,000 is the maximum amount an employer can claim in this period.

The continuation of the fund, at a reduced level for the next year, provides employers with the time needed to adapt to the grants eventual removal from 1 October 2021.

 How does this affect me?

  • Applications for this grant must still be submitted using the existing grant application form. However, employers are being asked to complete the new online form to provide information to help us forecast grant spend, following these changes.
  • Employers can continue to apply for Work Experience grant for training days from 1 April 2020 – 30 September 2021, up to a maximum of £10,000 per employer
  • Grants already claimed for Work Experience training days undertaken since 1 April 2020, will be included within the £10,000 cap.
  • Any applications with Work Experience days that exceed the £10,000 cap for training undertaken will be rejected.
  • Any applications with Work Experience days from 1 October 2021 onwards will be rejected.

Plant Additional Unit Achievement – Removal from 1 October 2020

Plant VQs are currently funded at £600 per achievement, with a further £300 grant available when an additional unit is achieved against an existing VQ.

Under the 2018 Grant Scheme Review the Additional Unit Grant (£300) was highlighted as requiring review however this was not undertaken at the time. Whilst the review has not been carried out, in the current climate this additional grant cannot continue to be supported and will therefore be withdrawn from 1 October 2020.

The full Plant Operations NVQs, short courses for plant related training, plus CPCS theory and practical tests continue to be eligible for grant funding, in addition to Plant Apprenticeship grants.

How does this affect me?

  • Grant applications for achievements from 1 April 2020 – 30 September 2020 will be processed up to 31 December 2020.
  • Any applications with achievements from 1 October 2020 onwards will be rejected.

What next?

While we appreciate that these decisions and the method of delivery will not be welcome, with the limited timescales available we wanted to provide as much notice as possible, to enable you to prepare for any impact these changes might have.

Should you have any specific queries in the interim, please contact:

On behalf of CITB, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your understanding around the changes we need to make to enable us to continue to meet our obligations and support our industry.

Kind wishes,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive