Health and safety in the construction industry is of paramount importance. With an abundance of dangers and risks present on site, there’s no way of completely eradicating the chance of injuries from befalling a member of staff. However, as an employer, it’s your responsibility to do everything in your power to reduce these risks as much as possible.
In order to ensure that your construction site is to the required safety standards possible it is necessary to provide training to employees, equipping them with the skills and knowledge of how to work to health and safety standards. In order to help businesses fund this essential training the CITB Grant Scheme was introduced.
In this guide, find out more about the CITB Grant Scheme, how it works and what benefits it can provide you as an employer in the construction industry.
What is the CITB Grant Scheme?
The CITB Grant Scheme is provided by the Construction Industry Training Board, who are tasked with providing quality training to workers in the UK construction industry, and the CITB Grant Scheme works as part of this overarching aim.
The grant provides employers with the funds to ensure their workers are trained in the relevant areas, to improve the current skills gap as it stands and to prevent as many accidents and injuries on construction sites as possible.
The New ATO Scheme
The CITB has recently announced the newly created Approved Training Organisation (ATO) scheme, which gives a quality, industry-recognised status to training providers worth their salt. Any organisation who wishes to receive this recognised status must undergo the approval process set out by the CITB.
The introduction of the new ATO scheme is just another way in which the CITB aims to improve skills, along with health and safety standards, across the construction industry. You can find out more about the ATO scheme on the CITB website.
How does the CITB Grant Scheme Work?
To receive a grant from the CITB, your employers must have completed their training and have proof of their qualification. A grant must be claimed for training that is completed during the grant scheme year, which runs from 1st April to 31st March.
There are a couple of additional things to consider. Firstly, for training courses which last longer than a year, separate claims must be made for each year. Secondly, any grants made for apprenticeships can be made as soon as the employer has registered the apprentice.
Who is Entitled to Claim a CITB Grant?
The CITB Grant Scheme is available to employers who are registered with the board. Furthermore, you must have sent a Levy Return by the 30th November every grant year. Any small businesses that are exempt from the levy can still access the CITB grants.
Grants are paid to employers rather than employees. If if you’re an employee hoping to take part in a training scheme, you will need to speak to your employer to receive a grant for that training.
How to Claim for a CITB Grant
The way in which you can claim for a CITB Grant can differ slightly with each specific grant. The CITB provides all the information you need on how to make a claim for the grant you are using. As the grants available change with each year, it’s important to make sure you’re looking at the right page, with the grants available for when you want to claim.
After you Claim for a CITB Grant
After submitting your claim for a CITB Grant, you will typically receive the money within four weeks of the submission date. The grant will be issued to you by bank transfer and all bank details are deleted once the grant has been processed.
Some submissions require additional information, and others are even denied. If your grant claim falls under either of these, the CITB will contact you to let you know what steps you need to take next.
Before Applying for a CITB Grant
To boost the chances of your CITB grant application being successful, it’s worthwhile looking over the CITB’s Principle of Sound Training, as well as the terms and conditions of the grant scheme. Terms and conditions can differ from year to year, so always double check that you’re looking at the terms for the grants year you are wishing to claim within.
Benefits of Using the CITB Grant Scheme
Applying for and making use of the CITB Grant Scheme can deliver a whole host of benefits to businesses in the construction industry. Some of these benefits include:
- Higher health and safety standards – using the grant to pay for health and safety skills training will provide you with a much more responsible and knowledgeable workforce.
- Developing skills for future workforces – there are grants available for providing training to apprentices or those on work experience, which can help to boost the skills of your business’ future workforce.
- Increase the numbers of workers with specialist skills – with some specialist construction skills in short supply, you can use a grant to provide the relevant training and bring these specialist skills to your construction site.
- Business growth – making use of these grants to train your workforce in different areas can help to build on your business’ reputation in the industry and grow the business’ success over time.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the benefits the CITB Grant Scheme can bring, but it certainly highlights some of the key advantages for businesses that sign up.
The CITB Grant Scheme is better than it’s ever been in the past, thanks to improvements and developments within its offering. The future looks bright for the scheme and so too for the construction businesses that choose to sign up to it, so if you haven’t already done so, now might be the best time to do so.