The announcement by the CITB-ConstructionSkills Board about funding skills development ends a period of uncertainty about the level of financial support and simplification of the grants scheme. The new look scheme, providing £113m grant funding for businesses, albeit less than previous years, will help give confidence to employees and employers that training remains a priority as we climb out of recession.
Gill Bridger, HAE Commercial Manager, commenting on the news said "The changes to the scheme should help improve its delivery and provide clarity and certainty for hire employers and employees alike. Training and skills development remains a top priority for the hire industry and we see CITB-ConstructionSkills as a key partner in making further progress in strengthening the hire industry skills base."
Major changes to the current scheme include:
Setting the total apprenticeship package at £9,000 over 3 years to simplify the scheme
Setting the maximum of £6,000 support for undergraduates in their placement year
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. For example, 100 employees = 300 days maximum grant
An additional £7.50 per day for BTEC and HNC students
Setting a 10% supplementary payment across all grant rates
Plant technical tests to be preserved but rates to be reduced by 25%
1% of the grants budget to be allocated to create a development fund to help employers keep pace with and deliver the Future Skills agenda
The new scheme will be rolled out in August 2010. Further details can be found at www.cskills.org/grants