Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


CITB extends covid-19 support for apprentices

18 September 2020

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has offered support to find a new employer for any construction apprentice who has lost their job or apprenticeship through the covid-19 pandemic.

The move means that around 11,000 apprentices across construction are now eligible for help, more than the 7,000 currently contracted with the CITB.

The apprentices will be able to benefit from:

  • job redeployment services, including through the Construction Talent Retention Scheme
  • reallocation of grant funding to a new employer to help apprentices to complete their training if at risk
  • the apprenticeships information and reporting app
  • pastoral support
  • shared apprenticeship schemes

Around a quarter of construction’s 11,000 apprentices across the country are furloughed, while 60% of construction companies in the Construction Leadership Council’s People Survey said they would take on fewer apprentices at the next intake later this year.

CITB has a dedicated support team that will look to find a new employer for any displaced apprentice, through local industry contacts or by registering them with the Construction Leadership Council’s recently-launched Construction Talent Retention Scheme, which redeploys displaced apprentices and industry operatives.

If an employer is unable to help an apprentice complete their training amid current circumstances, CITB will help to find a new employer and also reallocate grant funding to them to support training through to completion, and with the help of Further Education (FE) partners and providers also assist with employment opportunities. 

To prevent apprentice redundancies and encourage more employers to take them on, CITB is investing a total of £1m in shared apprenticeship schemes in England, Scotland and Wales. Under the scheme, apprentices are placed with different construction companies, providing a range of experience and skills while allowing employers to continue supporting apprenticeships through short-term placements.

CITB is also exploring with industry, government and the Association of Colleges and British Association of Construction Heads how to adapt the traineeship model for construction. This would form part of a new transition route from Further Education into employment or a construction apprenticeship, to support 2,000 FE learners as a pilot scheme in 2021-22.

Deborah Madden, CITB head of apprenticeships, said: “With significantly fewer apprentices being taken on this year due to Covid-19, CITB has launched a range of initiatives including job redeployment assistance, pastoral support, shared apprenticeship schemes, and an employer levy holiday and discount to keep apprenticeships at the heart of construction. In partnership with the Construction Leadership Council, these measures are part of our Skills Stability Plan to support industry through the recovery.”