Weekly News Update – Skills and Training Fund, Site Safety Plus & more
I hope you are having a good week. This week’s topics include changes to the Skills and Training Fund; an extension of the grace period for SMSTS and SSSTS achievements; and the launch of new Fairness, Inclusion & Respect Resources ahead of National Inclusion Week. There’s also a note about the CLC’s update to Site Operating Procedures.
Skills and Training Fund reverts to original purpose
In spring this year the eligibility criteria for the Skills & Training Fund for SME & micro-sized constructions companies (less than 100 employees), as well as the new fund for medium sized companies (100 – 250 employees), were adapted to recognise the immediate challenges being faced by industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund adaptions enabled hundreds of businesses to gain funding for urgent training needs, either for construction specific activity or for Leadership & Management training during this crisis.
As the industry begins to reset, we feel it is the appropriate time for the fund to revert back to its original purpose, to support productivity and innovation – a cornerstone of our recently released Strategic Plan, but with the ability to be flexible should requirements change. From the 30 November 2020, the interim COVID-19 rules will be suspended. Any applications from 1 December 2020 will be reviewed under the original fund rules that can be found here.
Site Safety Plus (SSP) Lapsed Certificates Extension
As part of CITB’s COVID-19 support to industry we agreed a period of time to extend the expiry date of certificates (grace period) for those employees whose Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) or Site Supervision Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) achievements expired after 15 March 2020.
As part of our promise of flexibility due to the current high demand for courses, this grace period has been extended until 30 November 2020 to support those delegates who are unable to access the relevant refresher course due to the current situation.
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Fairness, Inclusion & Respect: CITB backs new CECA learning resource
Even before the pandemic, construction recruitment faced the challenges of an ageing workforce, a lack of diversity and the pending implications of Brexit, so it is more important than ever to build inclusive cultures across all parts of our industry.
As part of National Inclusion Week (28 September-4 October 2020), we see a launch of a suite of new learning materials that will help drive positive change in the sector. The new resources, were part funded by CITB Levy, developed by CECA and the Supply Chain Sustainability School with a steering group of leading industry stakeholders and endorsed by the Construction Leadership Council
These resources will help drive the positive change we need to attract new entrants from a wider range of backgrounds to our sector, to retain them to work with us and demonstrate construction is the rewarding career we know it to be for everyone.
More details can be found here.
CITB Site Safety Checklists Update – Face Coverings
Following government updates last week on further Covid-19 safety measures, the CLC have released separate guidance on face coverings. Our Covid-19 Site safety checklists and forms have now been updated on our website to ensure that those who are permitted and able to return to work have a clear understanding of how they can apply the CLC’s Covid-19 guidance in practice.
CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed daily 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.
Finally I would like to wish you, your colleagues and families a safe and pleasant week ahead.