CITB cuts spending on £10.8m social media campaign

Grant Prior 3 weeks ago

Industry training body CITB has cut plans to spend £10.8m on its latest social media campaign to attract youngsters into construction.

The Future Made campaign sees social media influencers  “posting content on their platforms to show young audiences their adventures in trying out bricklaying, roofing, painting and decorating and more.”

A Freedom of Information request earlier this year revealed the CITB had a budget of £10.8m for “full development, launch and campaign activity” over the next three years.

But the coronavirus pandemic prompted a major rethink and a slashing of spending.

Future Made is designed to “change the hearts and minds of under-25s” who are currently turned off by construction jobs.

The campaign will drive youngsters to the existing Go Construct website for more detailed information on applying for apprenticeships.

The FoI request also revealed that the Go Construct website cost £1.3m to set up in 2015 with £2.6m spent promoting it since then.

CITB also planned to spend another £3.5m on marketing and running the Go Construct site over the next three years.

But the the combined Future Made and Co Construct 2020/21 budget has now been cut to below £1m and the initiatives “significantly scaled back”.

CITB also confirmed that it doesn’t record how many people have joined apprenticeship schemes via Go Construct.

It said: “We do not record how many individuals have joined the sector as a result of Go Construct, therefore we cannot track the direct benefits, nor calculate the return on investment.”

The FoI requests were submitted by workplace audit and CIS contract provider Hudson Contract who are vociferous critics of the CITB.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: It begs the question that if CITB can drop the spending on this at the drop of a hat, why were they spending so much in the first place?

“At a time when many construction companies are fighting for survival under the coronavirus lockdown, CITB will struggle to justify such sums.”

Steve Radley, CITB Policy Director, said: “While we stand by our record of investment in these areas, we are prioritising industry’s needs, namely supporting training and apprenticeships.

“Our investment of levy will focus on these areas, building on measures already announced such as bringing forward apprenticeship grants and dedicated funds for micro, small and medium firms.”

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