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Skills Update

Green Light for Construction Levy in GB

As part of an annual review, MPs and Lords have unanimously agreed that the construction industry levy that underpins the work of ConstructionSkills in GB can be collected for another year. Commitment to the levy was secured in the House of Lords on 21 February and was followed by cross-party support for its continuation in the House of Commons on 27 February…

The levy-raising powers are granted to CITB-ConstructionSkills, a partner in ConstructionSkills. Funds collected through the Levy are repaid to ‘in-scope’ construction companies in the form of grants to provide financial support to employers undertaking a range of training.

In GB in 2006:

  • Employers benefited directly from a record total of £152.9m paid in the form of grants, college fees and other training allowances – up 9% on 2005
  • Small and micro firms contributed 46% of levy income and benefited from 51% of the grants, college fees and other training allowances
  • There were 75,188 registered employers (58,072 being small or micro businesses)
  • Of the total registered, 26,054 paid levy (the remainder being below the £69,000 threshold)
  • 55% of grants were for the training of new entrants to the industry via Apprenticeships and other training schemes
  • 45% of grants were for the provision of further training to workers already employed in the industry, in areas such as health and safety
  • For every £1.00 of CITB-ConstructionSkills Levy received, the industry received £1.90 in total benefits

Independent research shows that support for the levy amongst employers is growing, with 70% of non-federated employers liable to pay the levy in support of the levy-grant system (an increase of 5% on 2005 results).

Sir Michael Latham, Chairman, ConstructionSkills commented: “We consult widely with industry to ensure we provide a service appropriate to the industry and endorsed by it. We will continue to undertake this engagement as, through this process, we can ensure that we are delivering demand-led training that meets the specific needs of employers to the construction industry.

“The Levy supports the sector-based approach that was put firmly in place with the formation of Sector Skills Councils from 2003 and is in line with the key recommendations in Lord Leitch’s Review of UK Skills. It sets ConstructionSkills apart from other SSCs and provides an essential platform for meeting the skills and training needs of the industry.”

ConstructionSkills Partner CITB Northern Ireland will be consulting with employers over the next month to determine the 2007/08 levy rate, which is likely to be reviewed by the re-established Northern Ireland Assembly in July.

To keep up to date with all the latest news on what ConstructionSkills is doing and discover how your company can get involved in helping secure the future of the UK construction industry register for the Skills Update.

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