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Changes to CITB Plant Standards and Grants announced – 19th July 2022

CITB has announced changes to its plant standards to standardise training and testing requirements across the construction industry.

The changes will start being introduced in January and follow consultation with employers and stakeholders from across the plant sector. The new standards will ensure safe, consistent and high-quality plant operations throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

The first phase of the changes will see new standards introduced for eight of the most used plant grants. These are:

  1. Excavator 360, above 10 tonnes (tracked)
  2. Forward tipping dumper (wheeled)
  3. Rear tipping dumper/ dump truck: articulated chassis (all sizes)
  4. Ride on Roller
  5. Telescopic handler: all sizes excluding 360 slew
  6. Industrial forklift
  7. Plant and Vehicle Marshaller
  8. Slinger, Signaller: all types, all duties

Alongside the new standards, the grant rates for plant training and tests will also be changed and improved. Currently, three smaller grants are available for practical test, theory test and short course training, which employers can claim in different ways. Under the new changes a larger single grant will be available for all CITB registered employers.

To claim grant, employers will only need to give their CITB registration number to the Approved Training Organisation (ATO) delivering the training and testing. By making these changes we aim to make claiming grant for plant training and testing simpler and straight forward for employers.

Training related to the new standards from January 2023 will only be grant eligible if it meets the following criteria:

  • is delivered by one of CITB’s Approved Training Organisations (ATO)
  • is quality assured by the provider, the relevant card scheme displaying the CSCS logo and CITB
  • leads to a card displaying the CSCS logo.

From January, a separate, higher grant rate will be available for employers who are putting staff through plant training, who have never had experience in the type of machinery they are being trained in. This is to help respond to the industry’s need for more people to become highly skilled and competent plant operators.

Plant operations have been identified as a priority skills area, with 1,330 new entrants needed every year to keep pace with expected demand. The changes being made to standards and the grants scheme are designed to support employers to train more employees by increasing CITB’s overall investment in plant grants. In addition, the new standards have been designed to improve the quality of the plant training available and increase the safety of everyone working on sites with plant operations. There is currently no industry-wide standard for plant operator training.

The next phase of changes is due to take place in the next financial year and more information on these changes will be published nearer the time.

Christopher Simpson, Head of Quality and Standards, CITB, said: “The introduction of our new standards is in direct response to feedback from the sector.

“The introduction of these changes will help standardise and improve the quality and consistency of plant training; increase the amount of plant training that takes place before testing; and increase the number of people trained in plant operations, particularly new entrants to construction.

“By responding to the changing needs of the sector, we continue to focus on our priority of supporting the construction industry to have a skilled, competent and inclusive workforce now and in the future.”

Full details on the upcoming changes are available here


*What is net zero?*

Science has shown that human production of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, increases the extent of global warming. Reducing these emissions is key to preventing devastating climate change.

To tackle the issue, the UK became the first major economy to commit to becoming net zero by 2050 (2045 in Scotland).

But what is net zero, and what does it mean for the construction industry?

Net zero explained

Net zero means that any carbon emissions we create are balanced (cancelled out) by taking the same amount out of the atmosphere. We’ll reach net zero when the amount of carbon emissions we add is no more than the amount taken away.

The best way to achieve net zero is by reducing emissions as much as possible. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) are released when we burn oil, gas and coal for our homes, factories and transport. These gases cause rising temperatures and changing climates by trapping the sun’s energy in our atmosphere.

So, we need to reduce our reliance on them. But not all emissions can be reduced to zero. We can balance out those that remain by removing an equivalent amount.

Planting trees – which absorb CO2 and release oxygen – is an inexpensive example of this. Solar and wind power can replace fossil fuels. Carbon capture and storage is another solution, but the technology is still in its early days.

Net zero allows for some emissions to be above zero as long as they are balanced out elsewhere. The net zero emissions target enables some areas to operate with positive rather than negative emissions.

This allows for sectors where it would be difficult to reach net zero emissions, such as construction, to operate while being offset by other sectors where it’s easier to reduce emissions or find alternatives for energy consumption.

What net zero means for construction

The construction industry will still play a big role in helping the UK reach net zero, though.

Construction and the built environment is a major source of carbon emissions, representing around 40% of the UK’s total output.

The UK Green Building Council estimates that up to 95% of emissions from the built environment over the next 30 years could come from existing buildings. Much of the industry’s effort to decarbonise will therefore be on retrofitting existing building stock.

The Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy (External link – Opens in a new tab or window) set a goal to decarbonise the heat and buildings sector by between 47% to 62% by 2035, pledging £3.9 billion in funding. Natural gas boilers will be phased out, and heat pumps and other low carbon heating systems will be installed.

With around 29 million buildings requiring some retrofit work, opportunities for construction employers are abound. As our Net Zero and Construction: Perspective and Pathways report noted, skilled, well paid occupations such as energy assessors, retrofit coordinators and insulation installers will be in particularly high demand.

New buildings will also need to be highly energy efficient, as well as being constructed using less carbon-intensive materials. How they’re constructed is important, too. Modern methods of construction, such as offsite manufacturing of buildings, will become more common.

How will construction meet net zero?

It’s clear that net zero commitments will have big implications for construction. Our Building Skills for Net Zero report predicts the industry needs an additional 350,000 workers by 2028 to create a lasting transformation.

There’s reason to be positive, though. Construction employers recognise the need to decarbonise – with three quarters saying it’s important or very important to them or their company. 70% have a good understanding of how they may need to adapt their business, while 90% are willing to retrain if necessary.

To meet the 2050 net zero target, the report outlines what is needed:

  • A widespread programme of upskilling and reskilling to improve capabilities in areas such as project management, system design and digitalisation
  • Constant re-assessment of future demand as the industry transforms
  • Training programmes and courses to support workers through lifelong learning so they can continue to retrain and upskill as demands evolve
  • A combined approach of pathways – hydrogen deployment through the grid, fabric first retrofit, heat pumps, heat networks and onsite energy.

CITB and net zero

Net zero is at the top of our agenda. In our recently published Business Plan, it forms a key plank of addressing future skills needs – making sure employers and the workforce are well prepared.

In the words of our CEO, Tim Balcon, “decarbonisation is a major challenge – and opportunity – for the construction industry. A green-skilled workforce will be vital as the UK strives to achieve the Government’s net zero targets.”

That’s why we are working with local and national Governments, the Construction Leadership Council, employers and others across the industry to map what skills are needed and where.

We are developing and reviewing training standards, supporting new qualifications such as the Level 5 Diploma in Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management, and reviewing new pathways from Further Education to employment.

We are also launching a net zero action plan in September 2022 to provide clarity to the industry. The key to achieving net zero is collaboration. So we need to continue working closely together to achieve lasting change.


Construction’s biggest challenge – Tim Balcon CEO

I’d like to start this blog by thanking everyone who has completed their CITB Levy Return.

Let’s be honest, paperwork is not an enticing task. However, it is a vitally important one where the Levy is concerned.

So, to all those who have met today’s deadline, I appreciate it, as do my colleagues.

To those who haven’t finished, or need help completing their Levy Return, this website page, will help you get the job done.

One of my biggest aims, as CITB Chief Exec, is for Levy payers of all descriptions to get value for their hard-earned cash through the grants and funding available.

I am keen to empower employers by helping them determine where best the Levy can be used to support skills development.

Our employer network trials, as mentioned in our new Business Plan, will test the concept of giving employers more scope to leverage grant in areas that will be most useful to them.

Maximising grant and funding take-up is a key part of tackling construction’s biggest challenge: reducing the skills gap.

Nation Plans

Skills are at the forefront of our new Nation Plans for England, Scotland and Wales.

The Nation Plans will be out in July will complement our Business Plan by reflecting the voices of employers. They show how we will work with national governments to support the construction industry.

Like our Business Plan, they focus on three key challenges: responding to the skills demand; building the capacity and capability of training provision; and future skill needs

However, given the different governments and approaches to learning in the three nations there are, of course, initiatives unique to each plan.


For example, one of the aims in the England Nation Plan is for CITB to work alongside Government and industry partners to prepare construction for T levels (External link – Opens in a new tab or window).

England will also see the launch of a comprehensive ‘Work Experience offer’. CITB will collaborate with training providers and employers to help make 4,000 work experience taster opportunities available.

CITB will also continue our work with the Construction Leadership Council to grow the uptake of both the Talent Retention Scheme (External link – Opens in a new tab or window) and Talentview Construction (External link – Opens in a new tab or window) (TC). Our aim will be 1,000 apprentices matched to roles through TC.

We’ll also continue working with local employers across England to convert experience into jobs through our Onsite Experience Hubs. In 2022-23 we aim to get 5,160 people site-ready or starting a new job through the hubs.


At the start of this month CITB announced investment of £3m into Scottish construction.

This was to support people beginning their career and to increase job retention.

During 2022-23 Scotland will see more investment. This includes the launch of Scottish Academies for Construction Opportunities. They will boost recruitment by linking stakeholders to those who are employment and site-ready.

The Scottish Nation Plan also has details of an £8.5m contract with Skills Development Scotland to deliver 1,344 apprenticeship starts in 2022-23.


There’s a lot of promising careers-related activity planned in Wales, in the long and short-term, too.

For example tomorrow, our International Women’s Day events, postponed from earlier this year, take place at the CITB-funded Construction Wales Innovation Centre (External link – Opens in a new tab or window), along with Cardiff & Vale College, Coleg Cambria.

Year 8 students, and above, will hear from inspiring women who have pursued a construction career. They will also meet employers supporting the Careers Wales-supported event. My thanks to Kier, BAM Construction, TAD Builders Ltd, J Randall Roofing Contractors and Willis Construction.

The Wales Nation Plan will have details of the popular See Your Site campaign, Wales’ equivalent of Open Doors, which will be launched in November.

And a lot of work is underway to ensure employers are ready for the changes to apprenticeship qualifications which will be introduced in Wales in September.


There’s a lot to look forward to. Our new Construction Skills Network figures, published at the start of June, showed that an extra 266,000 workers will be required to meet UK demand by 2026 (53,200 workers per year, up from last year’s figure of 43,000).

The largest increases in annual demand will be for carpenters/joiners and construction managers, along with a range of technical roles.

It’s clear there are big challenges and opportunities on the horizon.

I’m glad that after listening to stakeholders’ views since Consensus ‘21 our planning is virtually in place. I’m looking forward to seeing CITB’s actions benefit industry.

If you would like to share your views on Tim’s blog, please get in touch via .

Making Training Work – Tim Balcon CEO

Since joining CITB I’ve conversed with stakeholders across the UK on training, skills and investment.

I’m pleased to say CITB’s new Business Plan reflects this collaborative work and the views expressed during Consensus ’21.

I’m genuinely excited about putting our plan into action as it marks a new era for CITB.

It outlines our three core challenges. It also shows where we will invest over £233m in British construction during 2022/23.

The plan has been publicised on our website and in trade publications (External link – Opens in a new tab or window) so I won’t go into great detail on it here. However, it is important to reiterate CITB’s three core challenges and how they can be met.

They are:

  • Responding to the skills demands
  • Developing the capacity and capability of construction training provision
  • Addressing future skills needs.

CITB won’t solve these issues alone, I must be clear on that from the outset. Collaboration with industry is key to delivering these aims.


In May I spoke at three conferences. The themes at the Construction Productivity Conference (External link – Opens in a new tab or window)BACH (External link – Opens in a new tab or window) and EU Skills (External link – Opens in a new tab or window) events were, broadly speaking, productivity, training and skills.

Everyone I spoke to shares one big goal – reducing construction’s skills gap. However, when it comes to training’s role in meeting that challenge, we need to better understand that stakeholders have different drivers.

The wants of Governments, colleges, private training providers and employers are different – not necessarily misaligned with the needs of industry – but different. We have to understand this better if we are to get the best out of our training infrastructure.

For example, the UK Government has a broader social value outcome from their skills policies which is why qualifications include English skills. Meanwhile, employers’ priority is to get workers in the door as soon as possible.

Colleges have a massive contribution to make in the construction sector, however, employers sometimes complain that students are not work-ready when they enter industry. Funding incentivises inclusion in education, regardless of the sector or course they are delivering.

In addition, a current and common problem across all aspects of training is finding competent trainers and assessors.

It’s time we made the effort to align the capability and capacity of GB’s training provision with industries, individuals and society’s needs. With this in mind, the most pressing question is: how we can help employers with their urgent skills needs?


The most essential element of training is understanding the demand. There are two issues to consider on training and skills demand: the short and long-term.

In the short-term construction employers want skilled workers who get the job done.

In the long-term, while employers say they need skills for net zero, digitalisation and modern methods of construction, they are not asking for them.

Both these issues are needed but the demand for training is for the short-term. The latter is needed, for sure, but the demand is miniscule.

It’s vital to get the balance between the short and long term right. Small businesses, for example, are understandably concerned with the here and now. Bigger businesses are better able to plan.

CITB’s job is to put resources in place to turbo-charge training. Let me give you an example of how this can be done well.

Stakeholders need a common understanding of the issues that need fixing and then align their efforts to solve them. This is how a sustainable skills system structure can be set up. To make it happen conversations, about putting the right training infrastructure in place, just ahead of demand, are needed.

Once again, the importance of determining demand is key. In the meantime, our Business Plan shows how CITB will make it easier for employers to access training while we develop out training infrastructure to meet the issues described here.


In 2022-23 CITB will invest £25.9m in direct training delivery. This will enable our National Construction Colleges to provide core skills training and at-risk skills.

We will also support over 300,000 Health Safety & Environment tests. Enhanced grant support for priority skills such as Drylining apprentices and rainscreen cladding achievements will be offered, too.

There’s a lot more in the Business Plan, which I haven’t covered here, so I hope you can look at it. I’m pleased it’s in place and encouraged by the feedback received. It’s now up to all of us to work together and get the jobs done.

If you would like to share your views on Tim’s blog, please get in touch via .


Mental health campaign brings ‘higher’ visibility to construction sites


Balfour Beatty, Ford and the Lighthouse Club construction industry charity have launched a campaign to make mental health support more visible on construction sites, using distinguishable vehicles and special vests for staff.

The Make it Visible campaign provides mental health experts from Lighthouse Club with specialised vans to get to construction sites. They have also been given specially-designed high-vis jackets to wear when visiting sites.

The initiative, which launches this week, has been piloted on a Balfour Beatty site.

According to Ford, their vehicles account for almost one in three new commercial vehicles sold in 2021 in the UK and Ireland, with a potentially higher percentage in the construction industry. It plans to make use of this access into the industry to help more workers with resources for their wellbeing and mental health.

Lighthouse Club chief executive Bill Hill said the charity’s in-house team will be part of the support staff visiting sites.

“These highly distinguishable vans will be visiting sites across the country to deliver visible support to the boots-on-the-ground workforce. The vehicles are manned by the Lighthouse Club’s on-site team who are all Mental Health First Aiders with relatable experiences in the construction industry. I am convinced that this initiative will have a positive impact on workforce wellbeing and ultimately save lives.”

Balfour Beatty health, safety, environment and sustainability director Heather Bryant said the industry’s treatment of mental health was akin to a “poor cousin” of physical health.

She added: “We must change this incredibly outdated perception – and, at Balfour Beatty, we are continuing to lead the charge.”

Construction workers are 3.4 times more likely to take their own life than workers in other jobs.

According to Office of National Statistics (ONS) data, suicides among unskilled workers in construction rose to the highest record for a decade in 2020, when 94 workers died. Skilled construction has seen a slight decline in suicides, but still has the highest deaths among all other ONS occupation categories.

A major issue with reaching the construction industry with the message of mental health support has been the vastness of the supply chain and the difficult of reaching those at the very bottom of it.

CITB to invest over £233m in British construction

With a strong focus on three core challenges for construction, CITB published its Business Plan today (18 May), announcing it will be investing over £233m across Britain to support construction throughout 2022/23.

CITB’s investment plan responds to the estimated demand for an additional 50,000 workers every year and is primarily focused on securing construction’s talent pipeline. This year, the organisation will run and support a whole host of initiatives aimed not only at inspiring people outside of the industry to choose construction as their career, but also upskilling and retaining existing talent.

The three challenges set out by CITB are:

  • Responding to the skills demands
  • Developing the capacity and capability of construction training provision
  • Addressing future skills needs.

Responding to the skills demands

Following the findings of the recent Rethinking Recruitment report, CITB’s plan details how it will invest in supporting apprenticeships and building bridges between further education and work to get more learners into construction.

Initiatives such as SkillBuild, work experience, taster events, and the 350-strong STEM Ambassador network, aim to inspire more young people than ever to consider construction. In addition, CITB will collaborate with employers on the Go Construct website and promote the wide range of careers construction has to offer.

Coinciding with efforts to get more people to think again about a construction career, CITB will create even more accessible routes into construction, focusing on apprenticeships, alongside on-site experiences, and future rollout of occupational traineeships. A total of £60.3m in direct grants will be available to employers who take on apprentices, supporting the industry to address its current and future need for a skilled workforce.

Developing the capacity and capability of construction training provision

As the industry recovers from the pandemic and demand for construction projects increases, CITB will make it easier to access the right training at a time and place that is right for them.

CITB will:

  • Invest £25.9m in direct training delivery to enable the continuation of core skills training and training provision in niche and at-risk skills through CITB’s National Construction Colleges
  • Support more than 300,000 Health Safety & Environment tests over the next year, ensuring there is good availability of tests in as many locations as possible, bringing assurance to employers that their workforce can keep themselves and those around them safe
  • Offer enhanced grant support for priority skills such as Drylining apprentices and rainscreen cladding achievements.

Addressing future skills needs

Looking to the future, CITB’s plan sets out how it will address long-term challenges. The construction landscape is changing and issues such as net zero, digitisation and modern methods of construction are becoming increasingly important. CITB is investing £2.1m into research to better understand construction’s changing environment. This research will help focus CITB’s work on interventions that have the greatest impact, helping shape new training and standards development.

Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive, said:

“I am proud to be sharing my first business plan as Chief Executive at CITB, which sets out how CITB will approach its role in supporting industry going forwards.

“While progress has been made, the construction industry has faced significant challenges in recent years, including inflation, rising fuel prices, the pandemic and Brexit, to name a few. In many ways the industry is still experiencing and feeling the impact of these events, which we know has shifted priorities greatly and pushed the demand for skills to the forefront. It’s essential now more than ever that efforts are focused on helping to alleviate those pressures and address the key needs of industry.”

Read the full plan here.


Mental Health Awareness Week

One of our members – FSG Property Services Ltd are taking part in the Race to the Stones Ultra Marathon on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July. They are fundraising for MIND  BLMK, who support Beds, Luton and Milton Keynes to achieve better mental health and well being.

Details of the whole event;

MIND  BLMK works across our communities to support positive mental health and well being. Working closely with a range of partners, they offer a number of activities from well being centres and local venues to make a difference to the mental health and well being of people in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, and their aim is to make sure that no-one has to face a mental health problem alone.

Skills4Site have made a donation to this incredible endeavour on behalf of the Skills4Site team and members

Good luck to all the participants!

CITB Grant Scheme supports businesses bringing new entrants into industry.

As we enter the new financial year, CITB data reveals that almost 14,000 businesses have been supported in the form of grants, with over £77m paid out in the last year, and over 45% of grant spent went to small and micro businesses.

The CITB Grants Scheme provides grants for employers in the construction industry that provide day-to-day training for their workforce. There are several areas whereby businesses can apply for grant, including apprenticeships, short courses, and short/long qualifications.

The scheme is just one of the many ways CITB supports employers to maintain standards on construction sites and to ensure the right skills are available for the industry to grow. CITB also offers employer funds, which last year amounted to over £19m back to industry, assisting with standards development, training delivery and apprenticeships.

The data from the last year also indicates that apprenticeships have taken prominence, being the highest utilised area of grant amongst businesses, with 64% of grant spend claimed by apprenticeships in 2021/22. This support was maintained at a crucial time following the pandemic, allowing employers to adapt to the changing environment while continuing to deliver training. An additional £14m has been made available for 2022/23 to support a forecast increase in apprenticeship take up.

This is extremely encouraging news at a time when an additional 217,000 workers are required by 2025 to meet demand. CITB’s recent Rethinking Recruitment report also highlights some of the challenges industry currently face when recruiting new entrants, and this places greater emphasis on apprenticeships as a key way of securing a pipeline of future talent.

One business who has benefitted from the CITB Grants Scheme in recent years is Daniel Jeffries Carpentry. The Bournemouth based business has become well-known for taking on elaborate, quirky builds, garnering attention far and wide and helping them to secure various contracts across the world.

Speaking about the support he’s received, Daniel said: “The scheme was great for me because when I first started, I was just on my own. Then I got talking to a painter on site one day and he suggested I look into getting some support. I’d never thought about it really because I’d always thought it would be a bit complicated, and a bit too much paperwork and hassle, but it was actually really easy.”

Following a call with a CITB Adviser, Daniel discovered he was entitled to grant support and has since expanded the business, now employing a team of 10 people, including two apprentices. This has enabled the business to venture into larger scale projects, having recently worked on a design of a snow lodge in the UK, which they then shipped out to America.

Daniel said: “Harvey was my first apprentice; he’s qualified now but just needs to complete his final assessment. I watch him on site and he’s so good at what he does; being able to get that extra support into the team really made a big difference to us.

“I was also able to get the rest of the team on training courses through CITB support. They’ve been doing all sorts of different tests here, including some essential training like the health and safety courses.”

Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive, said: “We’re incredibly proud of the support the Grant Scheme has been able to provide in the last year, helping many smaller businesses through a turbulent time. The Grant Scheme is in place for all eligible employers who are registered with CITB, making it a huge opportunity that could really make all the difference for a business wanting to expand or further develop their skills.

“If you would like more information about becoming registered and claiming grant, we’d really encourage you to get in touch and speak to one of our advisers.”

To help address skills shortages in the industry, CITB has introduced new and increased grant rates from 1 April 2022. Find out more on the CITB Grants and Funding page.

Tim Balcon – CEO CITB

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 (May 9th – 15th)

In his latest blog, Tim Balcon writes on a subject which means a lot to him for professional and personal reasons: mental health. 🧠

Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 (May 9 – 15), Tim discusses the construction industry’s poor record on mental health and what can improve it. He also writes movingly on the experiences of his son who has endured mental illness but is now training to become a mental health nurse.

There are several reasons why construction has a poor record on mental health. Factors include:
🏡 Working away from home
😩 Heavy workloads
⌛ Long working hours
💸 Late payments

Tim shares:
💬 “The greatest lesson I’ve learnt through my son’s illness is that the brain is an organ similar to the heart, lungs and liver. We readily accept when these organs go wrong yet struggle to understand situations when our brain doesn’t function properly. We hide it. And that’s when problems begin. My son’s mental illness has made him stronger and is not his defining feature.”

💬 “Supporting mental health in construction is a CITB priority. Since 2018 CITB has supported nearly 950 employers – and awarded £1,550,396 of funding to mental health projects. Over £1.3m in grants have been paid to support mental health first aid & awareness courses and mental health champions.”

Read more in Tim’s blog, and if you feel comfortable, share your experiences as your story may help others realise there is another way. You can also seek help from the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity if you’re struggling. ❤️

👇 👇 👇


Free Train the Roofing Trainer Courses

Roofing Trainer Courses Group

Are you a Specialist Roofer?

Would you like to pass on your Roofing Skills?

Can you spare Time to Train?

AS PART OF the National Roof Training Group’s (NRTG) aim to build training capacity across the UK, we are looking for highly experienced and skilled roofing professionals who would like to pass on their knowledge to others.

The NRTG has commissioned Blended Learning Courses to meet the needs of budding trainers, which will include either daytime or evening online sessions starting in June 2022, leading to a final presentation session and a level 3 qualification.

Roof Trainer Courses

This fully funded course will consist entirely of people intending to train in roofing disciplines, so learners will benefit from shared experiences and developing best practice. The final session will be in a location suitable to delegates and will include individual training presentations, with an opportunity to meet and network with other industry trainers.

  • June start dates
  • Course specially for Roofing Trainers
  • Choice of daytime or early evening sessions
  • Final face-to-face Micro-Teach presentation
  • Sharing best practice and knowledge across roofing.
  • Fully funded by the Roofing Industry Alliance through the National Roof Training Group

About the Qualification

The Level 3 Award in Education and Training is a nationally recognised training and teaching qualification. It is designed for workplace trainers, skills instructors and private or college tutors. The course includes three written assignments and a short 15-minute observed teaching session at the end of the course. You will learn about the role and responsibilities of a trainer/tutor, how to plan and deliver inclusive learning, and understand methods and types of assessment.

The course is delivered through six short sessions weekly sessions and a one-day classroom session where you will also have the opportunity to learn with your peers and deliver your short micro-teach session. All learners receive access to a range of online resources, hard-copy training book and full support from a tutor.

Please register your interest in Roofing Trainer Courses by clicking here or by emailing

News from the CITB –

Amy Gardner, CITB Engagement Officer

Recruitment of new staff;

*   This is a good platform to recruit already talented staff;

*   This is a good platform to recruit entry level talent (apprentices/work experience/traineeship) –

2021 Levy Assessment – Update

CITB is required to submit Levy Proposals to the Secretary of State for the raising and collection of the annual Levy assessment.  Only once the proposals have been agreed by Government and enacted into law (a Levy Order), are we able to issue the Levy Assessment Notices.

Due to the time taken to deliver the Levy Order, the 2021 Levy Assessment will not now take place in April 2022 with the first payment date in May 2022, as previously communicated. It is expected that the 2022 Levy Order will be in place in May 2022 and that the 2021 Levy Assessment will be communicated to employers shortly after.

Employers will still be able to take advantage of the full 10 months interest free direct debit plan, which is now expected to run from June/July 2022 to Apr/Mar 2023.

For non-direct debit employers, the 2021 Levy Assessment payment date will be a minimum of 1 month after the Levy Assessment Notices are issued.

Free mentoring to help improve the digital capability of construction businesses

A free mentoring service has launched to support businesses with implementing digital processes and techniques by offering technical advice and guidance.

Digital Construction Skills (DCS) is funded by CITB to help construction companies develop the skills they need to drive digital transformation in their business. With a strong focus on SME business owners, directors, and senior managers, DCS aims to demystify digital tools and help businesses choose the best ones to align with their goals through the mentoring service.

All the mentors on the programme have recent, real-world experience on the front line of the construction industry and are specialists in the technical and commercial aspects of digital construction. This includes digitalising information flow and physical elements, such as 3D models and reality capture.

There are many benefits to adopting digital practices. For example, it could help you to reduce admin time and costs, improve safety and quality, keep digital records which could speed up payment and protect against claims, and even increase productivity of engineers and other site staff. DCS has identified time as a particularly important factor for many small businesses, which is why they aim to make the process as simple as possible. There are no forms to fill in with this service, you can simply book a 15, 30 or 60-minute meeting

(External link – Opens in a new tab or window)<> with a digital construction specialist.

CITB Occupational Traineeship (England only)

 A £1,000 grant is coming soon for the completion of a CITB Occupational Traineeship in England.

This grant will be available to eligible employers after completion of an 8–10-week CITB Occupational Traineeship work placement.

Further information on when this grant will be available and details on how to apply for the traineeship grant can be found on the Occupational Traineeship page>.


*Free Event

CITB Employer Workshop Event – 11th May 20022 at Bedford College.

The CITB are hosting a free informative networking/lunch event at the Bedford College (Cauldwell St, Bedford MK42 9AH) alongside other CITB colleagues covering Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Luton, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire and we would like to invite you along.

(Agenda below.)

It’s on the 11th May 2022 from 930 with a 10am start. Lunch will be provided at 1pm. You can register here; CITB Employer and Training Provider Engagement Event Tickets, Wed 11 May 2022 at 09:30


Topics covered at the event:
• Grants & Funding• Apprenticeships & T Levels
• Standards & Qualifications
• Approved Training Organisations (ATOs)• Attracting new talent via GoConstruct, STEM (Construction) Ambassadors, Talentview Construction
• Insights from guest speakers

Also, a chance to:
• Network with other companies and training providers

• Provide
feedback on key issues affecting your businesses

• Discuss your
individual company skills needs with a CITB Advisor

Agenda for the day:

09:30 – 10:00 Tea /Coffee and Registration
10:00 – 10:10 Introduction to Event and CITB
10:10 – 10:55 Session 1 – Apprenticeships, Grants and Funding.
10:55 – 11:15 Tea/Coffee
11:15 – 12:00 Session 2 – Standards, Qualifications, Provider Information
12:00 – 12:45 Session 3 – Careers – Talentview/GoConstruct & STEM Ambassadors
12:45 – 13:00 Feedback Form Activity / Close event
13:00 – 13:45 Lunch
13:45 – 14:15 Chat to an Advisor

This is a great opportunity to hear from the CITB Engagement Advisors and to discuss any issues you may have. Also to hear about different initiatives within the CITB. If this event is something you or a member of your organisation would be interested in then please follow the link above to book your free ticket.

Help beat construction’s skills shortage by inspiring young people.

Are you passionate about construction and want to show others what you do? Your enthusiasm and love for your job could inspire the next generation to join the sector. Faced with skills shortages, that’s exactly what a new campaign wants to achieve.

CITB, in partnership with STEM Learning, recently launched a new industry specific ambassador scheme. The Go Construct STEM Ambassador Scheme brings to life the use of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths within the sector. For example, a bricklayer setting out lines, angles and quantities of bricks involves maths, while using materials and chemicals to mix cement relates to science.

Go Construct STEM Ambassadors are construction professionals, from apprentices up to company directors, that inspire young people by sharing their experiences of how their studies led to a varied and rewarding career in the industry.

Anjali Pindoria, a Go Construct STEM Ambassador, said: “It is so rewarding; you’re leaving a lasting impact on young people by inspiring and engaging them about construction and actually shaping what it is that they know about our industry.”

The Go Construct STEM Ambassador scheme is run by CITB, on behalf of STEM, and with a target of 1,700 ambassadors by 2024, the scheme could be key to altering perceptions of the industry through highlighting positive personal experiences. Current ambassadors come from a range of construction disciplines, are aged 17 and over, and at various stages of their careers, with 45% of them being women.

Recent research says construction will need to recruit an additional 217,000 new workers by 2025 just to meet demand. The Go Construct STEM Ambassadors are part of a wider programme of CITB initiatives to tackle the skills shortage, including educating careers advisors on the huge variety of professions available, traineeships, work experience, virtual site tours, and more.

Stephen George, CITB Careers Product Manager, said: “Without knowing what’s available, young people that would have been great in construction could drift into other sectors. Our ambassadors help inspire the next generation. Not everyone has a role model at home or at school who inspires them to know what they want to do with their lives – sharing your story could be that spark.”

Find out more about Go Construct STEM Ambassadors (External link – Opens in a new tab or window).

Free mentoring to help improve the digital capability of construction businesses –

CITB News 4th April 2022

A free mentoring service has launched to support businesses with implementing digital processes and techniques by offering technical advice and guidance.

Digital Construction Skills (DCS) is funded by CITB to help construction companies develop the skills they need to drive digital transformation in their business. With a strong focus on SME business owners, directors, and senior managers, DCS aims to demystify digital tools and help businesses choose the best ones to align with their goals through the mentoring service.

All the mentors on the programme have recent, real-world experience on the front line of the construction industry and are specialists in the technical and commercial aspects of digital construction. This includes digitalising information flow and physical elements, such as 3D models and reality capture.

There are many benefits to adopting digital practices. For example, it could help you to reduce admin time and costs, improve safety and quality, keep digital records which could speed up payment and protect against claims, and even increase productivity of engineers and other site staff. DCS has identified time as a particularly important factor for many small businesses, which is why they aim to make the process as simple as possible. There are no forms to fill in with this service, you can simply book a 15, 30 or 60-minute meeting (External link – Opens in a new tab or window) with a digital construction specialist.

Additionally, DCS assures that a mentor can help support at various stages of a business’s digital journey. This includes if you are at the very start of your journey, having not yet explored how digital tools can support your business, through to guidance on accessing a range of funding and support available for digital adoption.

Saffron Grant, Managing Director at Digital Constructions Skills, said: “Digital leadership skills are so important because the way we work is changing. Understanding the benefits of digital technologies, and how they can help you achieve your business goals can ensure your business remains competitive and profitable in a rapidly changing landscape.

“This mentoring service can help you select the digital tools that are right for your company and get the very best out of them. The programme is supported by free eLearning modules, training courses and other valuable resources.”

Feedback has also been shared by a selection of businesses that have received support from the service.

Andy Dalrymple, Managing Director at Mackenzie Construction, said: “Digital Construction Skills helped us access funding to help us train our staff in a new digital platform we are rolling out across our business.”

Ed Clement, Owner, Patterson Bailey Engineers, said: “Thanks to free support from Digital Construction Skills, I am adding several new revenue streams to my business including carrying out drone surveys and setting out construction works.”

David Minns, Operations Director, GAC Environmental, said: “The support helped us get all the right people together in one room, and get to the point where we were able to make a clear decision on the priority areas for digital tools.”

Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity

The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity is the only charity that provides emotional, physical and financial wellbeing support to construction workers and their families. They receive no public funding and rely on the generosity of those within in the industry to help them continue their vital work.

They have been delivering charitable support to the Construction Community since 1956. Founded by a group of gentlemen who had been attending a Ministry of Public Buildings and Works Exhibition on Tyneside, when they found themselves on the seafront at Whitley Bay. Under the light of St Mary’s Lighthouse, they vowed to extend the goodwill they enjoyed at the show by starting something to unite and benefit the entire industry. From that day forward, the Lighthouse Club was formed to offer aid and assistance to ill or injured construction workers.

A crucial element of what they do is their strategy to provide a range of free and widely available pro-active resources to support the industry. This month, they’re focusing on their free support to remind you of the different ways they can help you. They have several ways you can reach out for support, whether that’s speaking directly to someone over the phone, using the self-support app, texting for help or joining a local support group. Whatever your preference they are there for you.

Funded NVQ Level 2- FREE

Onsite Assessment with funding available in: Cambridge, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Northants.

Employed and Self-Employed candidates eligible.

Construction trades included:

Construction Operations

Plant (must already have RED CARD CPCS/NPORS)

Painting and Decorating




Apply for your Blue CSCS card once completed the funded FREE Level 2 NVQ

This training is available through Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW), a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SSW is co-financed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund.

If you are interested then please contact us. or

Experience is the best teacher – Tim Balcon, CEO CITB

I’ve learnt a lot through experience.

The support I’ve had from older colleagues throughout my career has been a great encouragement to me, from starting out as a gas apprentice, to first becoming a Chief Executive, a role I found extremely tough in my early days.

The UK’s construction industry has vast experience to draw from. The CIOB’s report Diversity and Inclusion in Construction (PDF) (External link – Opens in a new tab or window)  states that over 30% of the workforce is aged 50 and over.

And while an older workforce is often, and rightly seen as a major issue for obvious reasons, it’s worth considering the other side of the coin, the benefits a wealth of knowledge can bring.

This is because construction veterans have the type of skills which, to put it bluntly, can’t be found in books.

It would be an incredible shame if their savvy was not passed on to the new generation of workers. So how can we ensure this knowledge isn’t wasted?

One solution is to train older construction workers to become highly skilled trainers.


Training the trainers is a topical issue. A new report from the British Association of Construction Heads (External link – Opens in a new tab or window) (BACH) highlighted the difficulty of recruiting more mature tutors.

BACH says knowledge needs to be in place to up-skill the workforce, support modern methods, green skills, and off-site manufacturing. I agree.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education’s (DfE) new campaign “Taking Teaching Further (External link – Opens in a new tab or window)” aims to increase the number of teachers in Further Education. The DfE wants to attract industry professionals with years of great practice under their belt.

The CITB is exploring how to use industry experience to the best effect. Our Quality and Standards team have just started work on a standard that will aim to bring consistency to the “Train the Trainer” arena.

And we will shortly be advertising training vacancies at our National Construction College, Bircham, roles which will see teachers share the skills they learnt over the years with construction newcomers.

Sharing skills, like this, is an important part of the training landscape.


As I mentioned in my first blog, one of my aims as CEO is to make training (and funding) more accessible. I want businesses to get the training support they require. I also want to see more first-class training for learners and young people work-ready from day one of their careers.

For a long time, employers said that new construction starters were knowledgeable but lacked essential skills and – that word again – experience.

This is why Occupational Traineeships, which began in June last year, and our onsite hubs, which will build on the success of our Construction Skills Fund (CSF), are so important. They thrive on practical learning. The CSF saw 20,000 people become site-ready which was an excellent outcome.


Since I began my career as a gas apprentice I’ve been a Training Instructor and National Project Manager, amongst other roles. Along the way I’ve learnt a huge amount from my colleagues.

When I first became a Chief Executive, at a previous organisation, I soon became aware of my inexperience. I struggled in the job, endured imposter syndrome, my confidence plunged.

Fortunately, I had a great Chairman. He explained the approach I should take. His support was like getting a breath of oxygen while swimming in a shark-infested sea. He believed in me, shared coping strategies and improved my self-belief.

Without his experience I would have resigned. Since then, I’ve asked myself how I can empower my teams. That’s one way I share the experience I’ve gained with colleagues.

Training can be fun

It’s worth remembering that training can be a lot of fun. The contrast between fresh-faced apprentices and worldly-wise workers can create great banter and camaraderie.

And lifelong learning works both ways. Older workers, who may have become set in their ways, can benefit from the new approaches young people bring to the office and to sites.

Let’s do our best to ensure we share the learning and wisdom we’ve all gained. It will change lives and be a great boost to industry in the years ahead.

If you would like to share your views, please get in touch via .

Construction Talent Retention Scheme

The platform provides a simple, free and easy way to recruit and redeploy across the sector –


The place for talented people to find first jobs, apprenticeships and work experience in construction –

Travel to train

This is where you can find information on support for travel – Apprenticeship travel and accommodation funding ‘Travel to Train’ – CITB<>

Levelling Up in the United Kingdom

Levelling Up is a moral, social and economic programme for the whole government. The Levelling Up White Paper sets out how we will spread opportunity more equally across the United Kingdom.

Levelling Up the United Kingdom – GOV.UK (

Please follow the link to access the Executive Summary.


Material prices to stay high in 2022, consultants forecast –


A consultancy has warned that material prices will not fall this year, as supply chain problems and high production costs continue to hit the industry.

Distribution problems and high demand for materials will mean some pricing issues will not soften over the course of this year, according to Linesight.

A new report from the firm said that increasing energy costs are set to stop steel prices from going down, despite a slight dampening in demand.

“With an improvement on the input cost side in 2022 and more stable demand growth, [steel] prices are expected to reverse steadily,” it added.

Construction companies will also have to contend with timber prices continuing to jump with demand remaining high and rising gas prices hitting the production of lumber.

“[Timber] prices are not expected to fall significantly from recent highs, but improved supply chains and more stable growth in residential construction are likely to contain inflationary pressures,” Linesight said.

Timber Trade Federation head of technical and trade policy Nick Boulton said timber prices were being affected mainly by labour and logistics costs going up. He added that energy prices do not have that much of an impact on timber as it has a low energy cost.

He said: “Amidst a buoyant global construction industry seeking to rapidly decarbonise using sustainable, low-carbon products such as timber, supply may again tighten as we move into Q2 2022. Therefore, it is essential that customers and merchants continue to forward plan and keep strong lines of communication.”

Linesight UK managing director Michael Riordan said the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has meant the supply chain disruption is set to stay for at least a few more months.

“With current market conditions, advanced approaches to procurement and project management are essential,” he said. “This includes earlier engagement with the supply chain and closer management of supply chain relationships.”

Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) chief executive Alasdair Reisner said the removal of the red diesel rebate in April will further hit the industry, which has struggled with cost pressures over the last year.

“We continue to work closely with our members, their supply chains, and the UK government to minimise cost pressures, and ensure that the substantial pipeline of infrastructure work that exists will be delivered on time and on budget,” he said. “Early supply chain involvement is certainly an area which can minimise costs, but we are working across all areas to optimise the business environment for CECA member companies.”



Construction employers receive suite of apprenticeship support resources as industry is urged to rethink recruitment methods

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, a series of apprenticeship toolkits have launched to support construction employers with hiring an apprentice.

Acting as a one-stop shop for support and guidance, the website toolkits simplify access to information and reduce the obstacles that often deter employers from looking into the process. Starting at the beginning of the journey, they will detail the various routes to hiring an apprentice across England, Scotland, and Wales. From there, there’s a choice of four other sections to explore, including support available from CITB. This could be practical support, assisting employers with completing paperwork, or financial support, with a breakdown on how to claim funding for an apprentice.

National Apprenticeship Week is an annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships across England and Wales. Now in its fifteenth year, the event brings businesses and apprentices together and highlights the positive impact apprenticeships can have on individuals, businesses, and the economy.

This year’s theme, ‘Build the Future,’ is particularly relevant to the construction sector, with the industry facing some major challenges, including the need to recruit an additional 217,000 workers by 2025. This places greater emphasis on apprenticeships as one way the construction industry can secure a pipeline of future talent, but also highlights the need to tackle the many challenges faced when considering recruiting an apprentice.

Additionally, the challenges extend to recruiting new entrants in general, as CITB’s recent report, Rethinking Recruitment, encourages employers to consider alternative methods. A key part of this will be ensuring a fair recruitment process to widen the talent pool and bring in the new perspectives required to fill the skills gap. With much of the industry relying on word-of-mouth methods to recruit, the toolkits include advice on writing apprenticeship adverts, interview guidance and links to additional resources on integrating Fairness, Inclusion and Respect principles, to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

With 70% of SMEs in construction being micro businesses with less than 10 employees, time was identified as a key factor in the design stages of the toolkits. Each section has clear, easy to follow headings meaning employers can scan and skip sections to find the information they want quickly.

Alan Wilson, Head of Apprenticeships & Careers Products at CITB, said: “Apprenticeships are vital to the construction industry, but it’s important to remember they can also be a fantastic addition to any business, in general. Hiring an apprentice can be a great way to pass on an important trade to the next generation, help your business grow, and even increase productivity.

“For these reasons, it’s extremely important that all employers understand what an apprenticeship is and the different types available. The new toolkits are a brilliant support system, covering a huge amount of advice and tips that can often be a daunting and time-consuming task to figure out on your own.”

Small businesses are at the heart of my plans for the CITB – Tim Balcon, CEO CITB

I was recently asked who I most admire in the construction industry, past or present. My answer, in Construction Management magazine (External link – Opens in a new tab or window), was the small business owner. To have the initiative and bravery to do something completely on your own, without a safety net, is truly courageous.

The last two years have been an incredibly challenging time for construction employers of all sizes. Earlier this month the Financial Times reported that hundreds of UK construction businesses were collapsing every month (External link – Opens in a new tab or window) even though we know the market is very strong.

Then there’s investing and accessing training. The chore of paperwork where the phrase “time is money” is, perhaps, most acutely felt.

Our new report, Rethinking Recruitment, advises that to attract workers in an increasingly competitive jobs market employers will have to try new approaches to employing staff.

Small, medium and micro employers have shown incredible resilience during the pandemic and deserve as much support as possible, particularly given the decline of SME housebuilders developing new homes. Particularly as they will play a big role as construction leads the economy towards recovery after a gruelling couple of years.

As I outlined in my first blog I am committed, like the rest of industry, to minimising the skills gap, and since becoming Chief Executive last September, I have spoken to many small and micro business owners to really understand their challenges and concerns and want to reassure industry that small businesses – the soul of the UK construction industry – are at the heart of my plans for the CITB.


CITB has done much to improve our offer to SMEs in recent years. This includes the introduction of the Skills and Training Fund for small and micro businesses.

Our latest Annual Report and Accounts showed this fund supported almost 1,000 SME employers in 2020-21. It helped SMEs receive more from the Levy than they put in – contributing less than 70% while receiving over 73% back in grants and funding.

Additionally, over 2021 our engagement team had more than 20,000 supportive engagements with businesses, most of which were with SME and micro businesses. Without this support the accessibility of training is even harder; and I’ve learnt that this is a silent activity of CITB often going underneath the radar. We need to change that as this is a highly valued service.

I know we need to do more and I am now working with our team to improve our offer to SMEs, to make it easier to access our services and gain the support I know you trust and value – all this will be outlined in our Business Plan which will be published this Spring.


During Consensus 21 and my wider conversations, employers told us there was a lack of clarity on service and support CITB provides; that our communication and engagement needed to improve, and our funding is hard to access.

In the coming months, you will start to see a shift in how we communicate our support available to SMEs in a simple, focussed way.

I know that one size does not fit all, and every SME is unique, which makes the challenge of meeting their needs greater. And the task of helping SMEs is increased by regional differences. There can be a gulf between national and local pictures, and how to address their differing, key skills needs.  CITB will be addressing this point as we develop our value proposition.

In the next year we will increase our support so local areas have the right training infrastructure in place. Our apprenticeship team will continue to work closely with learners and employers to deliver apprenticeships and link them up with providers. Our engagement team will strive to improve networks with all our stakeholders, particularly small businesses.

We will establish a better balance between addressing national and local skills needs.

My hope is that after a hard winter for us all the next few months sees normality return to the UK as Spring arrives. I am looking forward to backing my words of admiration for small businesses with action. And I am equally keen to hear from you. Individuals and organisations benefit from fair, constructive criticism, we all gain from teamwork and voicing fair opinions.

If you would like to share your views, please get in touch via .


Construction needs to rethink how it attracts its workforce as war for talent hots up!

Construction employers are being encouraged to rethink how they attract their workforce as competition for skilled workers gets more intense. The industry faces a tough challenge to meet its recruitment needs in a labour market that is running hot and with new CITB research showing that just two per cent of those outside construction see it as their preferred industry to work in. Yet the research also shows that construction could be more successful if it aligned its recruitment approach to values where it scores highly. These include stability & security, the variety of work, the opportunity to have a positive impact and the chance to specialise and become an expert.

The industry also needs to widen its net to recruit the tens of thousands of new workers it needs. Currently, women only make up 14% of the workforce and workers from ethnic minorities just 6%. Fixing this isn’t just about changing the culture, it’s about making the opportunities much more visible and accessible.

The Rethinking Recruitment research shows that people outside or who have little contact with the industry often have limited knowledge of what construction can offer, while negative perceptions and misconceptions surrounding culture and behaviours persist. The report also found only three-in-ten (30%) outsiders feel construction is ‘for someone like them’.

However, the Rethinking Recruitment research shows construction has the chance to address these perceptions and appeal to a much wider group.

The industry is described by those inside as somewhere that offers generous pay, opportunities for progression and a varied working environment.

“‘There will always be opportunities in construction, and that is quite a reassuring thing to have” Female, 22, white, Professional.

Insiders also report it to be diverse, flexible and aligned to their values, but many outside industry are unaware that construction can offer them this.

Steve Radley, CITB’s Strategy and Policy Director said: “This report is aimed at helping the industry take a fresh look at how it attracts its future workforce. Construction has massive strengths such as the ability to make a positive impact, including its contribution to Net Zero. And it scores highly on the variety of work and the opportunity to specialise, become an expert and progress your career.

“Construction’s challenge is to bring the knowledge and understanding of insiders to those outside of the industry and to celebrate what is good about it. We need to fire up their enthusiasm and make it the career of choice for thousands more potential new workers.”

Informal and word-of-mouth recruitment used by the bulk of construction employers is affecting the industry’s opportunity for creating a more diverse workplace. If workers without the right personal contacts don’t get a chance to apply, industry misses their talent.

The research pointed to the benefit from employers highlighting, in recruitment advertising, the values important to them to help candidates identify common ground. Other points include using key strengths as identified by insiders in recruitment material, such as the stability of the job and job satisfaction from creating something – making a difference to other people’s lives by building homes – and career progression through training.

Steve added: “There are some useful conclusions in the report and we hope with the widening skills gap that employers will benefit from these suggestions. “Construction has a lot to offer but the message isn’t as yet getting out to those who are looking for a career change or where to start with their career and that needs to change.”

Other suggestions to improve recruitment outcomes and fix incorrect stereotypes include companies making more of ambassadors – presenting role models from their own workforce and offering site taster days and easier to access work experience. Firms are encouraged to link up with CITB’s onsite training hubs and to get in touch with their regional engagement office to take up training opportunities for staff.

You can read the Rethinking Recruitment report here.


Green skills needed for all construction jobs

By Tim Balcon, Chief Executive of CITB.

We all know the size and scale of the challenge when it comes to climate change.

Globally, progress on climate action has not been anywhere near fast enough. The coronavirus pandemic led to a historic drop in global emissions last year, but it will be a glaring anomaly unless big changes are made.

Governments across the UK have committed to hit net zero emissions by 2050 (2045 in Scotland) but we have yet to work out the detail on how we get there.

We all expect retrofit to be part of the solution. UK homes are some of the most energy inefficient in Europe, responsible for nearly a quarter of our total emissions. According to the Climate Change Committee, we need to spend £45 billion over the next 15 years to retrofit our homes.

This figure is way beyond existing commitments, including the Government’s recently published Net Zero Strategy. However, that strategy does set us clearly on the path for change. It outlines changes to performance, standards and funding so that we can stop relying on polluting fossil fuels like coal and gas.

The Construction Leadership Council in England has called on the UK government to produce a national retrofit strategy, with similar calls made in Wales and Scotland where the COP 26 summit is currently being held. 


Tim Balcon, Chief Executive, CITB

At CITB, we are in the business of skills and training, and this will play a big role in getting us to where we need to be. It’s clear we need a national skills policy that reflects the climate emergency, and we certainly don’t have that at the moment.

For me, it is inconceivable that any individual undertaking learning in the construction sector should finish their studies and training without a pre-determined minimum level of understanding of climate change and how their skills contribute to net zero.

There are some companies who are ahead of the game, building for the future, decarbonising their operations and upskilling their workforces. They are making changes they know to be right. The construction sector should build a skills system around these early adopters as the most efficient way of bringing everyone up to speed.

Earlier this year, CITB published our Building Skills for Net Zero research. It said that to deliver on our net zero aims, 350,000 new roles will need to be created in the construction industry. Our research concludes that net zero UK construction can be achieved by 2050, but will need radical changes to skills development and deployment, at speed and at scale.

It will take all of us – colleges, employers, federations, government, and the construction industry – working together to get the skills, knowledge and experience we need.

For governments, the focus has to be on a pipeline of work needed to give employers confidence to invest in new skills. This must be supported by a planned and funded skills plan.

For the training sector, there is a need to work closely with the construction industry and government to ensure qualifications and training are net zero-ready.

For industry, we must share good practice and support those who are unsure how to play their part. We need to support employers to invest in the right green training. And industry will need to work more collaboratively to change its culture so we can attract more diverse entrants.

CITB has a clear role to play in this change. We have to support employers so that their demand for skills is matched with a system that can deliver a green-skilled workforce. We are trying to take a phased approach to this although the pace needs to pick up. We are putting together the evidence we need to make the right choices and putting in place the foundations on which a skills system is rebuilt.

It’s a big challenge, but one that can be met if we work together. It will be worth it so we can create a safe and prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.