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Construction Industry Training Board

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment his Department has made of the effects on the construction industry of the Construction Industry Training Board levy. (320084)

I have been asked to reply.

The Government are working closely with the construction industry to mitigate the impact of the economic downturn. Skill levels and training capability in the industry are protected through the continuing levy arrangements directed by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

Levy income in 2008 amounted to £181.8 million. Training grant expenditure by the Board amounted to £176.1 million, with a further £23.2 million of support for employers, for instance for subsidised training courses and apprenticeship allowances. In 2008 CITB returned more money in direct financial assistance to employers than they received in levy (£1.10 returned to every £1 of levy received). This high ratio of support has been made possible because CITB has acted on behalf of the Industry to generate income from sources other than the levy.

CITB have been working with Government and partners to address skills issues caused by the recession, for instance by introducing an Apprenticeship Matching Scheme to help redundant trainees in the industry complete their apprenticeships.

Over the next three years the levy is anticipated to raise between £465 million to £475 million for training in the Construction Sector. Future levy income will enable the CITB to meet the changing skills needs of the sector as it moves out of recession and to meet the challenge of the Government’s low-carbon agenda.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to assist companies in relation to the administration of the Construction Industry Training Board levy. (320085)

I have been asked to reply.

The Department supports the work of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), who are responsible for the administration of the CITB Levy. In order to assist companies through the current recession the CITB have agreed to allow companies to pay the levy in monthly instalments, up to 15 months in some cases, at no extra charge.

The process for completing levy assessments has been simplified and can now be done online. CITB have a dedicated help-desk, and information is available on their website to assist with levy assessments.

CITB also have advisors who go out to companies to assess their training needs and how they can make best use of the grants available to support training their workforce.