CITB urges industry to lobby government over apprenticeship levy fears

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has voiced its concerns about how the government’s proposed new apprenticeship levy could slash funding for the sector’s apprenticeships by up to a third.

It is now advising contractors to voice their own fears and lobby ministers during the Government’s consultation period on the levy.

The Department for Education recently outlined its plans for apprenticeships to be graded into a range of new bands with differing funding levels allocated from just £1,500 up to £27,000.

Steve Hearty, head of apprenticeships at CITB, says: “The Government’s proposed funding bands for framework apprenticeships raise real concerns for the construction industry.

“We support the new, employer-designed standards, because we think they will improve the quality of apprenticeships, and it is encouraging to note that Government state these will be funded at a higher rate than those recently published. However, no standards for construction have yet been approved and we are still working under the existing frameworks system and may well continue beyond 2017.

“Even with the sector beneficial STEM increases to funding the Government’s proposed funding bands will cut funding for construction apprenticeships by between 20% and 30%.

“We are concerned that training providers could stop training or they could ask employers to make up the shortfall in cost, which might deter firms from taking apprentices on.

‘We have shared our concerns with DfE and will be doing formally through the formal consultation process that closes on 5 September. Employers can do the same.”