SME contractors to have their say on CITB levy

Grant Prior 6 months ago
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Small and medium sized contractors are being invited to take part in the biggest-ever independent survey of views on the Construction Industry Training Board’s levy and grant scheme.

The survey is being conducted by payroll company Hudson Contract Services who are vocal critics of the training body.

It comes as  the CITB is due to consult with the construction industry this year to seek consent for its levy-raising powers.

Hudson is polling its customer base of 2,200 construction SMEs on their experience of the scheme.

Hudson managing director Ian Anfield said: “We believe the levy and grant scheme is a failing system which works against the interests of SMEs and favours the major contractors.”

Hudson is also consulting clients on an alternative model for the CITB.

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.”

Analysis by Hudson shows that between 2016 and 2019, large companies paid £176.3m in levies and received £152.2m in grants and other support payments.

SMEs paid £421.6m in levies and received grants and support payments of £257.2m.

Steve Radley, CITB Policy Director, said: “We are always looking to make levy funding more accessible and effective so it will be great to get more intelligence from this survey on what levy payers think.

“Feedback from employers is that funding from the levy is making a real difference to small firms.

“The Skills and Training Fund will have provided £8m of support to small firms and will grow to £10m in the coming year.

“Small employers tell us that the funding is much more accessible and feedback to the planned £4m medium sized fund, which starts from April, has also been very positive.

“This is on top of the £100m funding that the Grants Scheme will provide this year, of which two thirds goes to SMEs.”

Chris Carr, Managing Director of Carr and Carr Builders, a small firm in Grimsby and a member of CITB’s England Council said: “CITB has made a real effort to make its funding more accessible and more targeted at where it’s needed such as the onsite trades. In small family and micro building companies like ours  we are starting to see the difference.”

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