CITB says apprenticeship levy could cut funding by 30%

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has expressed serious concerns about the government’s planned new apprenticeship levy saying that it could end up cutting funding for construction apprenticeships cut by almost a third.

Head of apprenticeships at the CITB, Steve Hearty, said: “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,” Hearty said.

The CITB has warned that contractors may be expected to make up any funding shortfalls themselves which might put them off taking on the apprentices they need. They are urging contractors to raise their concerns during the government’s consultation on the levy.

The Department for Education revealed details of the planned apprenticeship levy earlier this month. Under plans now being consulted upon, apprenticeships will be graded into 15 new bands with funding allocated in each from £1,500 to £27,000.

Hearty warned: “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,” he said.

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