News 06/10/2023

The CITB consensus delay: what is it and what are the impacts?

CITB Consensus Delayed: What Is It and What Are the Impacts?

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has announced delays to the consensus process. CITB is the statutory body that collects a levy from construction employers, many of whom are deemed to be part of scaffolding contractors, and uses it to fund skills and training for the construction sector. Under a policy known as consensus, the organization puts its plans for the amount companies must pay to an industry vote every three years.

However, due to the ongoing review of the Industrial Training Boards (ITBs), CITB has decided to postpone the consensus process from 2020 to 2021, and now again, to 2025. This means that the next three-year levy order will not start until 2026.

The delay of the consensus process has several implications for the construction industry in general and the scaffolding sector in particular. On one hand, it provides more time for CITB to consider the recommendations of the ITB review and align its levy proposals with the industry’s needs and expectations. It also allows CITB to maintain its reduced levy rates for another year, which could help employers cope with the economic challenges caused by the pandemic.

According to the CITB website, the current levy rates for the 2021 – 2023 Levy Assessments are:

  • 0.35% on payroll staff (including furlough payments made under the HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)).
  • 1.25% on CIS subcontractors from whom you make CIS deductions (Net paid CIS).

On the other hand, the delay of the consensus process creates uncertainty and instability for the construction industry, particularly for its long-term skills and training planning. The scaffolding sector, heavily reliant on CITB’s grants and funding schemes, could face difficulties accessing adequate training provision and ensuring quality standards. Moreover, the delay of the consensus process could affect the sector’s ability to respond to emerging skills demands and to attract and retain talent.

NASC CEO, Clive Dickin, commented: “While disappointing that the sector does not have the ability to input into the levy charge and it brings uncertainty, its delay is understandable and will allow NASC to gather important information from its members, who employ the majority of the scaffolding sector’s employees. CITB is one of the two ITBs operational in the scaffolding sector, and NASC has input into the ITB review held by the DfE. NASC looks forward to inputting into the consensus on behalf of its members.”

Therefore, while the CITB consensus delay may have some short-term benefits, it also poses risks and challenges for the construction industry and the scaffolding sector. CITB will need to work closely with its stakeholders and partners to ensure that its levy proposals are relevant, fair, and effective for the future of the sector.