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Industry backs extra ECITB investment in skills training

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Engineering construction companies have backed an increase in the ECITB levy alongside a new three-year skills plan.

Government-sponsored skills body the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) asked companies that pay the industrial training levy to have their say on its new strategy and to endorse an increase in the levy.

The majority of levy-payers voted in favour of the proposal. Three-quarters (75%) of levy-paying employers supported the ECITB’s new levy resolution, which includes increasing the off-site levy rate from 0.14% to 0.33%. The ECITB’s proposal will see the off-site levy increase phased in gradually, rising to 0.2% payable in 2021, 0.27% payable in 2022 and 0.33% payable in 2023. The site levy rate will remain unchanged at 1.2%.

The level of support for the proposals indicates engineering construction employers are fully behind the ECITB’s plan to address the critical challenges facing industry over the coming years, including an ageing workforce and the emergence of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence. These challenges must be met head-on if the industry is to support the £600 billion worth of infrastructure projects set to be built across the UK in the next decade.

ECITB chair Lynda Armstrong OBE said, “I am delighted that industry has backed our levy proposals and this result is a significant vote of confidence in the ECITB. Our employers recognise the need to pull together as an industry to address the challenges set out in our new strategy.

“There is huge demand for high-quality training across our industry, and an acute need to replace an ageing workforce and ensure we can attract enough skilled workers. With demand for training outstripping available funding, we need to increase the level of funding available if we are to continue to meet training demand from employers and support growth in the industry.

“This new mandate places us in an excellent position to build on our successful track record of driving skills improvements throughout the industry. We are determined to prove to all companies that are in scope that the levy provides real value in helping employers meet their current and future skills needs.”

The ECITB’s new three-year strategy, entitled Leading Industry Learning, sets out the training support required to create the workforce industry needs to compete globally. It can be found here.

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