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CITB w ill boost training spend

Letters

Sir, IN YOUR editorial of July 20, under the headline 'Open the debate on Quality Mark', you state that the Construction Industry Training Board is to drop its provision for the extra on-site assessment and training (OSAT), which we had expected to result from the take-up of the Quality Mark.

You said that we had done so because we realised that 'the flood of people needing training is unlikely to materialise'.

I would like to make it clear that we are merely re-timing our forecast spending on the large amounts of grants we anticipate as being needed in the OSAT area.

The recognition that the demand for OSAT will be slower in coming through follows from extensive consultations with the industry.

We firmly anticipate that both the Quality Mark and also the Clients Charter will have a major effect on the industry in the next couple of years.

Therefore, we will then need to increase our spending substantially on both advice and grant.

Indeed, whereas last year we provided grants of £63 million, our forecast for 2000 is £74.4 million; for 2001 £90.6 million and for 2002 £100.5 million.

What we hope the industry finds particularly pleasing is that we are working hard to provide these major grant increases (and indeed many other activities, such as the promotion of a positive image of the industry to young people) at levy rates below those indicated to the industry just two years ago.

This has been achieved by increased efficiency and also by the effect on the levy income of increased industry activity.

Hugh Try CBE Chairman Construction Industry Training Board