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CIOB welcomes government’s Talent Retention Scheme

8 July 2020

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has welcomed news announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak today that it will pay £1,000 per employee brought back from furlough under a “job retention bonus”.

Sunak revealed the scheme as he announced a package of measures to stimulate business and employment following the coronavirus lockdown.

Employers who bring back someone who was furloughed and continuously employ them through to January 2021 will be paid £1,000 per employee, under the terms of the deal.

The employee must be paid at least £520 on average in each month from November to the end of January.

The Chancellor also announced a £2.1bn fund to subsidise six-month work placements for young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Among other measures announced by the Chancellor were:

  • A £3bn plan to cut emissions from homes, with vouchers of up to £5,000 for energy-saving home improvements
  • 30,000 new traineeships for young people in England, giving firms £1,000 for each new work experience place they offer
  • Employers will not have to pay any tax on coronavirus swab tests provided for their staff

Caroline Gumble, CEO of the CIOB, said: “The CIOB is delighted that the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is backing a Talent Retention Scheme for our sector. We have been facing the prospect of a skills shortage in the industry for some time. This has the potential to be exacerbated by the impact from coronavirus with a possible loss of existing skills and talent from the sector, which could be devastating.

“To see this targeted support delivered for an industry which is an important driver of the economy is excellent. I’m also heartened to see another example of the sector successfully collaborating, right across the industry, to bring something like this to life. Collaboration is also a key component in the drive to see the sector move into recovery as we come out of lockdown.”

The TRS scheme will be accessible via an online portal that supports redeployment of staff at risk of redundancy across the sector, while also enabling temporary employee loans between businesses. The scheme will also give displaced workers from other sectors a route to find new employment in construction. Businesses can register their interest in the scheme now, at: https://www.trs-system.co.uk/registration/organisation-interest?registration_source=construction

More reaction to Rishi Sunak’s summer statement:

“As one of the country’s leading education and healthcare contractors we welcome the Chancellor’s announcement regarding the government’s green building agenda for schools and hospitals, his investment in traineeships for 18- to-24-year-olds and apprenticeships.

“As the country emerges from the coronavirus crisis and construction activity resumes, job protection and job creation must form part of the economic recovery and the new funding for traineeships and apprenticeships will ensure that the UK construction sector can revamp its skills systems to support the government’s vision.

“Following the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on the government’s transformative £5bn rebuilding programme for schools and hospitals across England, the Chancellor has delivered a further stimulus to the economy where the construction sector will play a pivotal role.”

Paul Gandy, managing director, Interserve Construction

“Today’s measures are a good first step in supporting construction to invest in the skills to drive recovery, and to provide opportunities to young people. But a lot of work is needed between now and the autumn Budget to deliver what industry needs, given that apprenticeships were falling heavily before the crisis hit.     

“Investment in the CLC’s Talent Retention Scheme, and bonuses for recruiting new apprentices, will help employers recruit and develop the existing workforce, as well as new talent.

“The Talent Retention Scheme will match thousands of displaced workers with construction employers in need of their skills. CITB will actively support the delivery of the Talent Retention Scheme, and work closely with impacted apprentices ensuring they have the best opportunity of being retained and completing their training.”

Steve Radley, Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) strategy and policy director

“Apprenticeships, infrastructure spending, stamp duty holidays and support for the green agenda are all measures which are helpful to our sector. The issue is that they are long-term solutions for short-term challenges and time is against us as we all face what could be the worst recession in living memory. The chancellor offered a holding statement today.  In a wider context, we need streamlined procurement processes for government funded schemes, new fast-tracked planning, and imaginative solutions to allow us to employ skilled workers from the EU”.

Graham Harle, CEO, Gleeds Worldwide.

“While the Chancellor’s measures to retrofit 650,000 homes are absolutely on the money, building new eco-homes must remain the priority. If we are to recover swiftly from this downturn then modern methods of construction must be at the forefront of our plans. Factory-built homes are delivered faster, greener and are of a higher quality than traditional builds, and in the long-run, will save billions. For a green recovery, we need green, modular homes.”

Dave Sheridan, executive chairman at modular housebuilder ilke Homes