Hudson to survey 2,200 firms on Industry Levy Scheme
21st January 2020 | Hudson Contract
We have launched the biggest-ever independent survey of business views on CITB’s levy and grant scheme.
The training board is due to consult with the construction industry this year to seek consent for its levy-raising powers.
Hudson Contract Services is polling its customer base of 2,200 construction SMEs on their experience of the scheme and its effectiveness.
The levy is supposed to support construction employers with training grants to make sure the industry has the skilled workforce it needs.
CITB has raised nearly £600m through the levy since it last claimed to have industry support back in 2017.
Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract Services, said: “We believe the levy and grant scheme is a failing system which works against the interests of SMEs and favours the major contractors.
“With our survey of business views on CITB’s scheme, we are democratising the consensus process and giving a voice to SMEs, the lifeblood of the construction industry.
“These are the companies that are subjected to the levy and are expected to stand in line, bowl in hand, in the hope of being handed a grant. It’s time to hear their opinions.
“We are confident the verdict won’t make pretty reading for CITB or the major contractors which have done very nicely out of the grant scheme unchallenged for years.”
In 2016, we commissioned a YouGov survey which found that six out of 10 levy payers provided training without CITB grant funding while just one in 10 respondents received levy grant payments.
We are also consulting clients on an alternative model for the CITB, which dates back to 1964.
Mr Anfield said: “The world of work has moved on. We will be publishing our proposals in the coming months. Safe to say, our alternative model will reduce costs for industry, cut red tape, put more money into government coffers and, most importantly, improve outcomes for training and health and safety in the construction industry.
“CITB has raised more than £1.75bn in levies over the last decade and still we are told there is a construction skills crisis. It looks like a billion pound bodge job.”
In 2017, the Government ordered CITB to improve governance and be more accountable to the industry.
Ministers called for wide-ranging reforms so the organisation is more focused, efficient and responsive, including to small employers.
The Department of Education promised a progress report for October 2019 but this is yet to materialise.
We are inviting clients to bypass the undemocratic federation block voting system which many feel for decades has failed to represent their views.
As an alternative, clients will be offered a discounted membership of the National Federation of Builders, one of the few voting organisations that has not become hooked on CITB handouts.
If you are a client and haven't received the survey, please call 01262 401040 and we can resend it to you.