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Employer network pilot

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What is an employer network?

The employer network is a 12 month initiative set up and funded by CITB, run by local or sector specific network groups. It aims to simplify the way you get the support and funding you need to access the training you want. It’s all part of the service
Even better, because the employer networks are organising it all there’s no CITB form to fill in to apply for grant. 
You could even get considerably more than the existing Grant Scheme… how much is part of what employers in the networks are deciding. 
Collectively employers are shaping the way the funds provided by CITB are spent, and on what. And if the pilot is a success it could radically change the way training is funded by CITB

Get involved now

Aim of the pilot

You’ve told us that accessing grants & funding for training is complex and many just don’t bother, so we want to simplify how you get the support and funding you need to upskill your team. 

You won’t need to navigate the Grant Scheme, as CITB will fund the employer network to organise the training. And unlike the restrictions in some other schemes, the training can be in anything that supports construction employers. These could be the trade skills you need right now or something you’ll need in the future - such as net zero, digital skills or mentoring. 

The big difference is that it is employers working together to decide how to spend the funding in their area or sector and on what 

Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive said: “I’m really excited about this pilot – this is about putting employers in the driving seat to identify and address their skills challenges and how best CITB can align our funding and resources to support their skills needs. 
I would encourage employers in the pilot areas to get involved and use their voice to shape training provision.” 

Sector specific pilot groups

During 2023 we will be extending the pilot to include sector-specific groups. 

The first sectors to join the pilot are:

Plant & Tool Hire

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Paul Gaze - CEO, Hire Association Europe said:

“Hire Association Europe is delighted to be working with CITB on the Sector Employer Network Programme. It is vital that we invest in the plant, tool and equipment workforce to develop the required skills and competencies, as the sector underpins the wider construction industry. Nothing gets built, maintained or repaired without the professional hire and rental workforce. We commend CITB for its investment in developing the skills to drive forward construction”. 

Homebuilding - North of England, South East and London

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Farhan Sattar - CITB Homebuilding Employer Network Lead said:

"Housing has been identified as a major area of demand in the CITB Construction Skills Network Report Five Year Outlook, 2023-2027. Developing and investing in the Homebuilding workforce is vital to ensuring that the sector can continue to support growth and build the homes the country needs."

"This network will support employers across all the trades involved in the Homebuilding sector, to develop a fully skilled workforce. Providing the skills they need right now and into the future, in a simple and effective way”.

Local pilot areas

We’re running at least one pilot in every Nation, if you’re based in one of the areas shown below, and are Levy-registered, you can benefit from the employer network.

The employer networks cover the following areas: 

  • Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire - New
  • Greater Manchester - New
  • South-West Wales
  • Lincolnshire
  • Norfolk
  • Inverness (Highlands & Islands) - plus civil engineering employers across Scotland
  • Midlands (for civil engineering employers only)

To find out more either Email: employernetwork@citb.co.uk or contact your local employer network. Details below:

Judi Minty - Employer Network Lead for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire said:

“This is a great opportunity for employers across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to come together and collectively tell us what their specific needs are in terms of skills gaps and training - we’re here to listen and support.  We will work with local providers for delivery, whilst making the process simple and straightforward for employers.

We’ll be supporting employers with the skills they need now and in the future”

Sharon Brown - Employer Network Manager for Greater Manchester said:

“This is an exciting time for Greater Manchester employers in the first CITB Employer Network in the North West.   

CITB is committed to addressing the skills challenges and this pilot is a fantastic opportunity for us to help your business develop and give you easy access to the right training. It’s employer led, simple to access and offers a broad scope of training.

We’re looking forward to working with you”.

Herman Kok - Lindum Group Ltd said: 


"As chair of Lincolnshire LGTA l am excited and looking forward to delivering an ‘employer network pilot scheme'. We will collaboratively deliver innovative training support for Lincolnshire based construction companies and their supply chains. We are grateful for the support we receive from CITB for these activities". 

The pilot areas:

Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire

Greater Manchester




South West Wales

Midlands - Civil engineering only


Stacey Felmingham - Office Coordinator, Aspect Group Services Ltd said:

“Having the Employer Network has enabled us to offer a wider variety of training courses to our team both on site and in the office.  With the support from the Norfolk Construction Training Group we have been able to navigate the process effectively and efficiently."

"The simplicity and broad scope of the initiative has allowed us to offer training to more employees than we initially budgeted for over the year, which is fantastic news as a business and for the individual."

Andrea Gravell - Resource Director, Lloyd & Gravell Ltd, Llanelli said:

"We heard about the Cyfle Employer Network through Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association Ltd.  By tapping into the training organised by the local employer network contractors are able to benefit from training that would otherwise be difficult to source and more expensive, as training providers require a minimum number to run a training course." 

"Working with the employer network, training has been organised to meet our operational requirements within the timescales required, as opposed to having to wait for sufficient numbers to run a training course. The additional funding made available through the network has enabled us to use our training budget to increase training opportunities across the company."


Kelsey Burnett - Training Coordinator, Luddon Construction Ltd, Scottish Civils said:

"We got involved as we thought this was an excellent idea, especially for companies who don’t utilise the grant claims from CITB, and for smaller companies who may not be aware of the funding available to them, or how to access it." 

"To support our organisational development plans, we’ve already booked in a number of upskilling courses for our existing staff. The increased funding has helped our business financially, allowing us to organise even more training, with no additional admin or claim forms to be submitted in order to receive the funding."

"The reduced administration has allowed our staff to focus on other things and knowing the employer network had everything in place on our behalf was such a weight lifted from our shoulders, knowing the funding was in hand."

More information 

Do I need to be a member of a training group to benefit? 

No. You do not have to join a training group or membership body to benefit. The pilot is being run by these organisations because they are experts in their local training provision. 

Will it cost me anything to join? 

Employer networks are free to join for any Levy-registered employer. 

Are there any other costs? 

Each employer network has a budget to spend on training. The employers within the network decide how funds are used for the greatest benefit. This may mean training is subsidised, and in some cases fully funded. 

Is this only for face to face training? 

No. The training can be face-to-face (in person or tutor-led online) or e-learning. 

Is there a limit to how many can join in an area or sector? 

There are currently no limits in place to the number of employers that can benefit. However the pilot is for 12 months, so you should get involved as early as possible to get the most from it. 

Can I belong to a local network group and a sector specific one?

Yes. So long as you are within the local group's area and work in the chosen sector you can belong to both.

I’m not in any of these pilot areas or sectors – what does that mean for me? 

As the pilot progresses we’ll evaluate its success and consider where or if we can roll the scheme out further. Keep an eye out for more information. 

Contact Us

Not sure if it’s for you or want to know more?

We’re really excited about this but if you’re not sure or have any questions you want to ask first, email us and one of the team will get back to you.

Email: employernetwork@citb.co.uk