The CITB will draw on reserves to stimulate investment in skills

The CITB has revealed plans to draw tens of millions of pounds from its cash reserves more than expected over the next three years as it steps up investment in construction skills.

The industry training council said it would close the gaps between income and expenditure levels until April 2025 with £46.4million from its existing balances.

Revealed in his latest business planThis figure represents a significant increase from the £15.2 million allocated from reserves in the previous shot to cover the same period.

It has been a turbulent time for the CITB, with the departure of Chief Executive Sarah Beale last summer after four years at the helm, and the departure of Chief Policy Officer Steve Radley after eight years in the role.

Meanwhile, a House of Lords committee has called for reform or replacement of the organisation, which it has accused of failing to effectively tackle the skills shortage in the industry. Trade bodies Build UK and the National Builders Federation have also demanded a change after a significant drop in the proportion of independent businesses approving levy proposals.

The CITB said in its latest business plan that it expects levy income of £572.5million over the next three years, as well as revenue of £140.8million from sales of products and services and £4.6 million of profit from disposal of assets.

Combined with reserve spending, this gives the training board a spending power of nearly £765m.

The bulk of this money will be channeled directly to companies in the sector, with £466.8m earmarked for direct employer funding, including over £200m over the next three years in apprenticeship grants.

Providing products and services such as training courses and apprenticeships will cost the CITB an additional £255.2 million over the three years to spring 2025. The rest of the expenditure will focus on support, including the verification of standards and the search for skills.

The CITB’s latest accounts show it had reserves of around £120million in March 2021.

The training council said its latest investment plan met estimates that 50,000 more workers were needed in the industry every year. He is committed to leading and supporting a host of initiatives this year to inspire people outside the industry to choose construction, as well as to develop and retain existing talent.

CITB Chief Executive Tim Balcon said: “The construction industry has faced significant challenges in recent years, including inflation, rising fuel prices, the pandemic and Brexit.

“In many ways, the industry is still experiencing and feeling the impact of these events, which we know have significantly shifted priorities and pushed the demand for skills to the fore.

“It is more critical than ever that efforts are focused on alleviating these pressures and addressing key industry needs.”

Alice F. Ponder