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Revealed: CITB partners picked for £7.6m funding amid training shake-up

The training board has shaken up its approach to funding with new tie-ups ranging from major contractors to specialist SMEs. Construction News takes an exclusive look.

The CITB has revealed the first tranche of its specialist industry partnerships, following a shake-up of its skills and training funding for construction.

The 22 partnerships, collectively totalling £7.6m, are the first projects to receive money from the CITB’s flexible and structure funding pot. Altogether there is £60m available over the 2016-18 period, with around £20m allocated per year.

The £60m funding is the consolidation of a number of decentralised CITB funding pots, the aim of which is to help overcome barriers to companies recruiting skilled workers, such as funding for developing training materials.

“A lot of this is about bringing all those different pots together, which were managed in a rather uncoordinated way in the past, to take an overview of what the key challenges are for the industry,” CITB policy and strategic planning director Steve Radley explains.

“In the past, the CITB has funded a lot of pilots and hasn’t really done enough to see what sort of impact they are having… so we’re looking to become much more active and much more of a learning organisation.”

Further flexible and structured partnerships will be announced later this year. The CITB will also reform its grant-based funding this year, which will look to support employers on a day-to-day basis.

Here, we reveal the detail behind the first tranche of the CITB’s specialist industry partnerships.

Big hitters


The CITB will provide further funding for the next five years to the Supply Chain School after its success to date. Over the five-year duration, the project will see 4,000 employers undertake an online skills diagnostic and receive an action plan, while working through the e-modules and other resources provided.

  • CITB contribution: £2.5m over five years, after which the project will seek to become self-financing
  • Total value: £5m



The Supply Chain School will get further funding


The CITB and Home Builders Federation have joined forces to develop a set of training standards for the housebuilding sector. The Homebuilding Skills Partnership will establish a framework that will set “common standards” for skills and training in the housebuilding sector.

The aim is to help employers train 45,000 new workers and 1,000 experienced workers through the new housebuilding qualifications by 2019.

  • CITB contribution: £2.7m
  • Total value: £3.8m


This project aims to improve health and safety standards in construction. It will establish the first national annual safety stand-down, which will see sites stop work for one day so teams can spend time refreshing their health and safety knowledge; funding will support developing the required training modules.

The project will also hold mock trials so that employees can experience a health and safety tribunal hearing and host regional conferences across Great Britain. A total of 10 sites will participate in the first year, covering 3,000 workers.

  • CITB contribution: £358,500 over three years
  • Total value: £881,000


The CITB will support Mears to work with housing associations and local government to encourage diversity in the social housing workforce. This is the first time the CITB has supported engagement with the social housing sector on this issue.

  • CITB contribution: £349,455 over 18 months
  • Total value: £500,000

CITB training apprentice skills workers housing

CITB training apprentice skills workers housing

The CITB is supporting engagement with the social housing sector

Build UK and the NFB

Build UK

Build UK and its members will work together with the CITB to develop a training and qualifications structure to meet industry needs. The outcomes from this work will support the CITB’s thinking and analysis on the future direction of CITB Grants Scheme.

The CITB will offer its expertise, setting the standards and qualifications for the industry. Solutions will be co-designed and piloted by Build UK members from across the supply chain. This will ensure any solutions developed are applicable to the wider construction industry regardless of size of organisation or specialism.

The Build UK project will comprise:

  • A study to identify routes by which people enter construction.
  • A national framework of routes into jobs and progression paths within construction – owned by employers who will help approve routes into and through Industry. This will be tailored to suit each sector.
  • Working with Build UK members to provide intelligence in support of the CITB developing an industry competency framework.
  • A new apprenticeship structure for entrants that includes a pilot with Leeds College of Building followed by a UK-wide roll-out, dependent upon evaluation.
  • A skills analysis tool that can be used to assess appropriate training programmes for new entrants converting from other industries.
  • Industry-agreed routes by which all new entrants can gain an industry-recognised qualification.
  • An industry-agreed framework for supervisory and management courses and industry-recognised supervisory and management courses.
  • CITB contribution: £66,780 (70 per cent of total project value) over 12 months (up to December 2016)
  • Total value: £95,400

National Federation of Builders

The NFB will lead educational engagement in conjunction with Go Construct, whereby it will make its BIM technology available to30 schools across the UK to demonstrate the wide variety of roles available in construction.

  • CITB contribution: £63,000 over 12 months
  • Total value: £100,000


Barratt Developments

Phase two of rolling out the Regional Academy, providing support across all of Barratt’s regional training facilities. The project will facilitate engagement with local schools and colleges, promoting the construction and homebuilding sectors and aiding the recruitment process.

  • CITB contribution: £65,069 over 12 months
  • Total value: £105,821

Barratt solar panels housing sustainability

Barratt solar panels housing sustainability

Barratt is looking to engage with local schools and colleges

Stewart Milne

Support for research to create the business case and run pilots to spread the use of BIM  from  public to private sector housing projects.  

  • CITB contribution: £178,000
  • Total value: £380,000


B4Box is a building services firm that specialises in housing. Its project will upskill existing workers so they are multi-skilled and can go into people’s homes and undertake the repairs and maintenance needed in one visit.

  • CITB contribution: £48,000
  • Total value: £80,000

B4Box trainees

B4Box trainees

B4Box trainees


This HBF project aims to raise awareness among builders about housebuilding regulations through an online learning module/webinar – one per month for a year.

  • 16,000 firms to benefit and 5,000 individual sales staff.
  • CITB contribution: £20,000
  • Total value: £40,000

Federation of Master Builders

FMB – 1

The CITB will be funding support for workshops for SMEs to upskill their workforce on how to make older buildings energy-efficient.

  • CITB contribution: £49,900
  • Total value: £72,400

FMB – 2

Web-based toolbox talks that focus on issues such as thermal imaging and energy efficiency, free for anyone to access. Developed by the Local Authority Building Control, Building Alliance CIC, STA and FMB.

  • CITB contribution: £240,100 over 18 months
  • Total value: £343,000

FMB builder worker site plans proposals

FMB builder worker site plans proposals

The FMB is part of a number of projects

FMB – 3

30 half-day workshops to upskill SME builders. Focus areas will include Building Regs, energy efficiency, roofing and British standards.

  • 250 SMEs to benefit over 12 months.
  • 600 individuals to engage.
  • CITB contribution: £47,000
  • Total value: £67,000

Other projects

Roofing Industry Alliance

This project will equip workers with training and qualifications and ensure they hold the relevant CSCS card.  

  • 138 firms and 270 individuals to benefit after one year of funding.
  • CITB contribution: £299,099
  • Total value: £432,650

CECA – FIR Toolkit

Workshops will target infrastructure clients and SMEs to raise awareness of fairness, inclusion and respect, improving recruitment and retention.

  • 10 FIR champions/ambassadors will act as coaches and mentors to give examples of the benefits of FIR.
  • Targets 400 firms and 680 workers.
  • CITB contribution: £195,400 over 12 months
  • Total value: £290,000

Association of Technical Lighting and Access Specialists

Aims to develop training courses and upskilling 37 employees to NVQ or similar by 2020.

  • CITB contribution: £64,000
  • Total value: £91,675

National Association of Shopfitters & British Woodworking Federation

  • Funding will help develop a course to upskill workers so they can take advantage of new technologies.
  • CITB contribution: £105,000
  • Total value: £150,000

Dry Lining & Plastering Training Forum

Funding for the development of a training video to teach plastering to new entrants. After 12 months, 500 individuals will have completed the course, 200 businesses will be using the video and 30 schools/colleges will have access.

  • CITB contribution: £20,000 over 12 months
  • Total value: £30,000

Finishes and Interiors Sector Funding Agreement

Training for 200 workers from the finishes and interiors sector so they achieve recognised qualifications such as NVQ level 2 and CSCS cards.

  • CITB contribution: £200,000
  • Total value: £259,000

Rowlands Roofing

Funds will train workers in Wales in the specialised field of lead welding and pitched roofing.

  • CITB contribution: £5,000

STA: Timber frame competency award – online audit system

Support for STA to move its award schemes documents online, allowing employers to upload details on their projects and the STA to track progress.

  • CITB contribution: £12,000
  • Total value: £35,000

STA: Timber frame fire safety guidance training video

Funding for a video to be distributed online to improve levels of fire safety competency levels across industry.

  • CITB contribution: £15,000
  • Total value: £40,000

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