Apprentice funding faces 10% cut

Grant Prior 13 years ago

Letters confirming training grant cuts of 10%  will be sent to contractors next month by officials at CITB-ConstructionSkills.

Funding for a three-year apprenticeship programme will be pegged at £9,000 – down from the current rate of £9,820.

The move follows a wide-scale review of the training grants system in the wake of the recession which has seen levy income plummet.

CITB-ConstructionSkills said they will still provide £113m in grants for the year from August.

A cost cutting programme at the organisation has also resulted in job losses in a bid to reduce overheads by 10 per cent.

Mark Farrar, Chief Executive of ConstructionSkills, said: “It is essential that we maintain investment in the current and future workforce, but with falling levy income and increased demand for grants, the Board has had to review the scheme.

“The board recognises that in doing this, tough decisions had to be made. The need to minimise the impact on new entrants, in particular apprenticeships, is one area that has caused much debate.

“However, the board has made every effort to keep apprenticeship grants at the highest rate affordable given competing priorities and the need to plan for the future.”

The main changes are:

  • Setting the total apprenticeship package at £9,000 over 3 or 4 years to simplify the Scheme
  • Setting a maximum of £6,000 support for undergraduates in their placement year
  • Setting a single achievement rate of £275 for vocational qualifications at level 2 and above
  • Limiting the average number of grant aided training days on a training plan and short duration training at three days – slightly above the current industry average. For example for 100 employees, 300 days maximum grant.  There will also be a 3 day limit on training days for Labour-only Sub-contractors
  • Awarding an additional £7.50 per day for Technical and Professional students
  • Setting a 10 per cent supplementary payment across all grant rates to simplify the scheme
  • Plant technical tests to be preserved but rates to be reduced by 25%

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