The CITB has got a lot on. It’s restructuring its operations and its staff structures; it’s got to make significant efficiency savings; it must put in place the next steps for GoConstruct and it has to be clearer about its future remit and the roles of its stakeholders.
Central to all of these changes and improvements is effective communication – not something the CITB has always been famous for.
But it is conscious of this, which is why it’s going to some lengths to share as much information as possible, as early as possible, about how the CITB levy and the government’s apprenticeship levy will run alongside each other from April next year.
At the same time, it is laying the ground for the formal consultation into the way the levy will operate from 2018.
“The industry must now work with the CITB to make it effective in the short term”
Having a double levy is difficult no matter what the CITB does.
Nobody wants to pay twice – but some people are going to have to, at least in the short term.
Some clarity needed
It’s not helped by the lack of detail about how the government’s apprenticeship levy will work in practice; the CITB is ahead of ministers on this one.
But over the last few months the construction industry has made one thing clear: it backs a continuing role for the CITB.
Employers may not like everything the CITB does or the way it does those things, but they want to retain it as its training board: employers want a reformed training body.
Having reached that position, the industry must now work with the CITB to make it effective in the short term and help set the scene for the way it would like it to work in the longer term.
“You can only influence the outcome by getting involved”
The semantics don’t make this easy. Apprenticeships and training are not only necessary, but positive forces for good. Yet the use of the word ‘levy’, not only by the CITB but by the government too, undermines their importance by perpetuating the idea that they are a tax rather than an investment – in your business, in the industry and in its next generation.
Work with the CITB
To the outside world, the CITB’s role and remit are not simple to understand.
Frankly, that’s too often been true within the industry too. But now that employers have indicated that they want the CITB to continue, they need to meet it halfway.
Just as in politics, you can only influence the outcome by getting involved. If you like what’s being proposed, support it. If you don’t, suggest alternatives.
It’s your training board. Make sure you decide what happens next.