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Covid-19: CITB chief exec update - 18 November 2020

Good afternoon,

After a summer of great displays of support for the NHS it was good to see the UK Government paying tribute to everyone working in the construction sector last week, for the invaluable support to the economy throughout the pandemic.

Today’s email highlights your feedback on a free new Covid-19 eCourse; asks for your understanding as email temporarily replaces our telephone system due to the pandemic; as well as advance warning of finance system updates; and an invitation to join the new Levy Strategy Committee.

Covid-19: Setting up and operating a safe construction site

As the second national lockdown in England was announced we launched a free Covid-19 eCourse. Already, in just four weeks, more than 1,400 people have completed the training. It covers topics such as current legislation; how a virus spreads; social distancing and risk management.

Course users have since told us that they think the eCourse “covered in-depth elements that similar courses do not touch on,” was “really informative and interesting,” and “a well-balanced course I would highly recommend.

I’d like to thank employers who have taken the time to share their experiences of the course and provide feedback both to the partnerships team, and by email and social media.

Find out more about other CITB eCourses.

Temporary phone line closure and advance warning: finance system updates

As a direct result of Covid-19, part of the CITB customer telephone service has been temporarily closed, though all services will continue by email and webchat. This will remain in place until 2 December, as per Government guidelines.

Additional staff will be available to respond to emails and meet the anticipated extra demand during this time - please contact us by email levy.grant@citb.co.uk or by webchat.

From 26 Nov – 2 Dec essential system updates are also planned for the CITB finance system. During this period we will have limited access to finance information, we are doing all we can to ensure minimal impact, however there could be a short delay in some Grant payments being received. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience during this time.

Help shape the Levy

This year, after speaking to the Prescribed Organisations and some employers, we decided that it was inappropriate to run the Consensus process when the external environment was so unstable and uncertain. Our expectation is that, although some Covid-related uncertainty will remain, the external environment will be sufficiently stable to run the Consensus process next year. The final decision will be taken by the CITB Board in February and before doing so we will seek views from the Prescribed Organisations, which are made up of several trade federations, as well as analysing other economic and industry insights to inform our recommendations to the Board.

In the meantime we have been setting up the Levy Strategy Committee of employers and experts to recommend new Levy Proposals and support a longer term review of the Levy. The committee met for the first time in November, but we have one vacancy for an independent member that isn’t employed by a Levy-registered employer. If you have extensive experience of the industry and you work in an organisation that isn’t a CITB registered employer, please consider joining

A reminder… 

The forecast for industry can be found in our recently published Construction Skills Network 2021-25 interim report. CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed regularly and includes updates on the full range of our work, including the reopening of Test Centres in Wales and the continuation of testing during lockdown in England.

You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government. 

Best wishes and stay safe everyone,

Sarah Beale
Chief Executive