More of construction's small firms will get free training thanks to levy bill proposals expected to get the green light from parliament next February.
CITB-ConstructionSkills collects an annual levy from construction employers to pay for training grants and employer support. The new levy bill proposals will require CITB construction-registered employers with a wage bill of £76,000 or more to pay to finance training for small businesses.
Levy rates themselves have been frozen for the sixth year running. Grants are then given to employers who train. Small firms tend to train most new entrants and benefit most from the levy. Larger firms benefit by hiring these skilled workers later in their career.
The proposal's new figure is up from last year's £73,000 levy threshold.
Employers in the construction sector with a wage bill of between £73,000 to £75,999 have previously had to pay the levy but now will not be asked to because of the threshold rise proposed for approval this February.
In 2006, firms who paid no levy employed over 10,800 new entrant trainees and received £26.7m in training support. In 2006, over £113m was distributed in training grants to more than 20,000 firms.
The levy rate remains at 0.5% on direct employment and 1.5% on labour-only sub-contractor payments.
All CITB-ConstructionSkills registered employers are eligible to claim a training grant and this year £140m is available.
CITB-Construction Skills said 'The total benefits to the industry in 2006 equated to £1.90 for every £1 paid in levy'.
For details of the CITB-ConstructionSkills grants available in 2007/2008 visit www.cskills.org