The CITB has secured its future for the next three years after the majority of the industry voted to continue with its training levy past next April.
The construction training body confirmed that it had received the support it needed from more than half the industry to ensure its survival after tallying up the votes from the 14 consensus federations and 4,000 non-represented employers.
Of the 14 federations surveyed, 10 voted in support of the levy, with 76.9 per cent of trade body’s affiliated firms backing the organisation until the next triennial consensus vote in 2021.
Companies with a payroll of £80,000 will now be required to pay 0.35 per cent on PAYE bills from April next year, with a rate of 1.25 per cent remaining for payments to Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) subcontractors.
Of the 4,000 non-affiliated employers surveyed by the CITB, 66.1 per cent – based on the value of levy paid in – voted in favour keeping the levy.
In England, 71.2 per cent of non-affiliated employers voted to support the levy, while 79 per cent of Scottish and Welsh firms gave their backing.
The survey also revealed that 74.2 per cent of large and medium firms voted in favour, while 75.9 per cent of small firms and 71.6 per cent of micro firms also backed the continuation of the levy.
The CITB will now submit its results to the government, which will need to receive verification and approval from parliament to ratify the new levy order, expected to be completed before the end of the year.
CITB chief executive: ‘We will change’ – read the full interview
CITB chief executive Sarah Beale said: “The results are clear: construction firms across Great Britain have come together to commit to delivering a skilled construction workforce for the next three years.
“The consensus process this year has been rigorous, robust and inclusive – with more employers consulted than ever before.
“Be assured that we will continue listening to industry and along with recommendations from the government’s upcoming review into industry training boards, will use all we learn to inform our reform process.
“We are completely committed to modernising our organisation by renewing governance, ensuring accountability and improving outcomes. It is what industry expects and we will deliver.”
Industry reaction to CITB vote
Build UK chief executive Suzannah Nichol: “We now have a golden opportunity to build on the foundations of CITB, to create a strong, effective skills framework that benefits us all.
”CITB needs to fundamentally reform and be accountable to the industry, but it can only do that if we all play our part and make sure we are clear in our ambitions and expectations.”
Cast Consultancy chief executive and author of Modernise or Die Mark Farmer: “I’ve made it clear the future of the industry has to be very different; that means the CITB must be very different too.
“We’ve seen some positive signs from the CITB, particularly with the reports around immersive learning and offsite construction.
“Now we need to see the big changes that are going to make our industry’s training body fit for purpose long term.”
Federation of Master Builders chief executive Brian Berry: “We are sending a clear message to CITB that it must reform and it must demonstrate a much better return for the industry than we are currently seeing.
”The FMB and its members decided on balance to give our backing to CITB to continue, but opinion among FMB members was divided and many of our members remain very sceptical that the Levy is delivering what it should be.
Redrow Homes chief executive John Tutte: “The CITB needs to modernise, particularly to meet the needs of the housebuilding industry.
“They should take this levy vote as a stimulus to update their business model so that it can better support our industry.
“I am encouraged that this is recognised and I welcome indicators I have seen that serious reform is on its way. I am confident the housebuilding industry will offer its full support to the CITB to deliver the changes required.”
Civil Engineering Contractors Association chief executive Alasdair Reisner: “Our members were clear that they continued to support CITB, but wanted it to build on the positive moves to reform that we have seen in recent months. Today’s announcement lets that process get underway.”
National Federation of Demolition Contractors chief executive Howard Button: “The NFDC members have supported the CITB levy order by a clear majority with a strong message that they expect to see promised reforms implemented as soon as possible.”
Morrisroe Group CEO Brian Morrisroe: “This is a positive result for both the CITB and the industry it represents. I hope to see greater openness and accountability in the new delivery model.
“Now that the decision has been made and the uncertainty removed, I hope that our industry can work together with its training board to ensure that it successfully recruits, trains and retains talent.
“Employers must do their bit in this regard and will, I hope, champion apprenticeships throughout their businesses.”
National Federation of Builders chief executive Richard Beresford: “A training board that works with the industry to deliver skills when and where they are needed is construction’s best option. The CITB’s reforms, coupled with better SME representation to better reflect our industry, could deliver on construction’s potential.”