ECITB offers the industry a new deal on skills
Published:  29 July, 2016

Leading skills organisation, the ECITB has just announced the start of its industry consultation exercise with companies about new levy proposals for the period 2017-2019.

The consultation is prompted by government proposals to introduce a new levy on companies with a pay bill in excess of £3million to fund the training costs of apprenticeships from April 2017. The ECITB is keen to ensure that the benefits of its widely supported current industrial training levy for the engineering construction industry are not lost or negatively impacted by the new demands of the Apprenticeship Levy.

Chris Claydon, chief executive of the ECITB explains:

“The need for home-grown skills have never been greater. We must ensure that we do not damage the great work that has been achieved in ensuring a consistent supply of skilled labour. The economy is facing new uncertainties, and we need to make sure that support is available to companies to keep on investing in essential training. As a model of an employer-led body we have spent many months meeting and discussing with our in-scope employers to ensure that our proposals reflect the will and needs of the engineering construction industry. ”

The proposals contained in the consultation, which will conclude in late September, are based around recognition of the economic realities for companies operating in the infrastructure and process industry space. The ECITB works with companies across the energy sector, including the offshore oil and gas, power generation and nuclear industries, as well as many process businesses, such as chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The proposals offer phased financial relief by temporarily reducing the industrial training levy to ensure that skills are not lost to the industry and wider UK economy.

“We [the ECITB] are offering an injection of reserve capital into the system in order to maintain the same level of support, “ says Claydon. “These are tough times for our member companies and we need to help them mitigate uncertainty.”

The ECITB has also undertaken a restructuring exercise to ensure that it continues to offer better value. This includes reshaping its regional operations to be more responsive, shifting its focus to policy as well as skills delivery and slimming down its administrative function. Claydon says, “this is all helping to push money forward into front line support.”

In 2016, the ECITB celebrates its 25th year as industry skills organisation for engineering construction. In this time it has helped over 1.4 million learners and consistently delivered industry-ready qualifications and set standards that have helped the industry to grow and weather many economic storms. The ECITB is confident that the latest proposals will also enable the industry to navigate the next few years successfully and sustainably.

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