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Covid-19: CITB chief exec update – 24 March 2020

Good evening,

During the COVID-19 crisis I am issuing daily (Mon – Fri) updates on CITB's work to support the construction industry.

CITB has already introduced a number of support packages for employers which can be seen on our COVID-19 update page.

Today my key messages are on support for apprentices, our new Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) app and information on a new employer support database.

Support for Apprentices

CITB is paying, in advance, apprenticeship attendance grants for second and third year apprentices to help keep skills in the construction industry amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

The payments will be made from 6 April for apprentices already subject to CITB grant support and who are currently in the second or third year of their apprenticeship for the remainder of the year. The payments are expected to be able to support 7,500 apprentices, and will advance up to £2,500 in attendance grant at a time when retaining apprentices is critical. To read the press release on this please click here.

CITB has worked with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to discuss funding rules on breaks in learning for apprentices. ESFA have issued guidance for apprentices, employers and training providers, you can read the guidance here.

CITB has helped apprentices return home from National Construction Colleges in Bircham Newton, Erith, Kings Norton and Inchinnan; every CITB apprentice is being contacted by their Apprenticeships Officer this week. Online learning tools (functional skills videos) have also been made available to help apprentices continue their studies from home. These videos are available to all apprentices, not just CITB's. Information on how to register and access the videos can be found here.

A dedicated email helpline for all apprentices and their employers providing advice and signposting during COVID-19 has been set-up by CITB. Please e-mail us at  for assistance.

New HS&E App

CITB has developed a free app so employers can run their own in-house interim testing. The app will give employers a level of local assurance to help them determine if an employee is safe to work on their site. The app will be available to download from app stores shortly. A PC download version is available here, under the HS&E Test heading.

The app will give breathing space to employers during the temporary closure of all Pearson Vue HS&E test centres and the suspension of testing throughout our Independent Test Centre (ITC) network.

New Employer Support Database

Tomorrow CITB will launch a database with useful information and links to help employers during the COVID-19 crisis.

To view CITB's COVID-19 updates page, including information on Grants, Funding and the NCC, click here.

To read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government please click here.

Kind wishes,

Sarah Beale
Chief Executive