Building firms say scrap direct funding of CITB

Construction companies overwhelmingly want to scrap direct funding of CITB.

That’s according to the biggest ever independent survey of business views on the effectiveness of the quango’s multi-million pound levy and grant scheme.

The damning verdict from 87 per cent of respondents will undermine CITB’s ability to claim industry support for its levy-raising powers.

The National Federation of Builders has also piled pressure on the quango by raising “significant concerns” over its running and calling for consensus to go ahead without delay to give industry its say.

Hudson Contract polled its customer base of more than 2,500 construction SMEs.

Independently verified

Our survey, which is being independently verified by a global market research firm, reveals the following:

  • 89 per cent pay the training levy to CITB
  • 42 per cent do not claim grants or other funding from CITB
  • 80 per cent arrange and pay for training for which they receive no CITB funding
  • 87 per cent say scrap the levy
  • Only one in five firms are members of CITB-approved consensus federations
  • 92 per cent are happy to be represented by Hudson Contract in levy consultation

Chairman’s hard-hitting video

The survey findings are brought to life in a hard-hitting video produced by our founder and chairman Dave Jackson

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson, said: “It is strikingly clear from our survey that a vast majority of construction SMEs see no value in the CITB. The fact that in recent years it has moved away from delivering training and the CSCS card scheme has not helped its cause.

“Most employers only come into contact with CITB when it comes chasing their levy. They are then left to deliver their own training rather than being funded or assisted by CITB in any way.

Heel-dragging response to crisis

“Its heel-dragging response to the coronavirus crisis highlighted its instinct to put self-preservation above any support for the sector.

“We are calling for wide-ranging reform and are proud to provide SMEs with a trusted voice in this important debate about the development of skills in our industry.”

Reduce costs for industry

Our alternative model, which you can read about here, will reduce costs for industry, cut red tape and put more money into government coffers.

It will result in a better trained and continually upgrading workforce - employed or self-employed - and improved health and safety.

Most importantly, it will help plug the skills gap in the construction industry.

Hudson is consulting on the model with its 2,500-strong client base, HM Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs, MPs and a number of trade federations.

Examples of CITB spending

  • £17m directly on levy collection between 2015 and 2019
  • £18m on ‘change’ in the last two financial years
  • £10.7m on ‘business improvement (IT)’ last year
  • £4.1m in grant funding to parties related to board members last year
  • £2.4m in director salaries, bonuses, benefits and pensions between 2016-19
  • £3.9m on Go Construct marketing campaign
  • £64.8m on staff costs last year alone
  • £3.1m on redundancies resulting from moving offices 50 miles down the road

Future of levy collection

As it stands, despite the coronavirus crisis, CITB is refusing to cancel this year’s levy, and is busy lobbying government, the federations and major contractors to back three more years of levy raising powers taking it to 2024.

However, under law CITB must gain consent from the entire industry, not just from those lured by promises of generous funding packages. Our job is to make sure that our clients, who feel they pay the levy for no apparent benefit, have their say.

If you want to scrap direct funding of the quango, contact us on 01262 401040 to find out how you can help.

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