1: Welcome & Apologies – Julia Coak (JC)

JC welcomed everyone in attending. Apologies had been received from Blanchard Wells; CLC Group & K & K Décor. Other Individual apologies had also been received where the company was still represented.

Attendees list – HCTA committee & members

Julia Coak, Chair (Lynx Forecourts)
Eileen Bird, Training Officer
Estell Guest, Treasurer
Paul Barton, L A Kattenhorn & Ptnrs
Steve Hale, Parchow Groundworks
Jacqueline Mansfield, Wendage Pollution Control
Kelly March & Justine Duffin, Brymor
Emily Horton, Aeropark
Kirsty Northcote, Champion Group
Lena Coffin, Cousins
Andrea Parker, Dyer & Butler
Mandy Phelps, Hexley
Chelcey Douglas, Kier Highways Services
Ray Sims, Knights Brown

Nicki Trant & Clare Calvert, PTC
Shelley Baxter, R Collard
Janet Hutchinson, R & W Civil Eng
Michelle Wilson & Michelle Hartley, R W Armstrong
Lizzi Richardson, Richardsons (Nyewood)
Sarah Groves, Selwoods
Garry Malplass, Southern Concrete
Maggie Stefaniak, Tina Craciun & Nicola Bunyan, Trant
Graham Alexander, Welbro Project Mgmt

CITB Liz Steel & Shirley Ratcliffe

Speaker Holly Cudbill, Blake Morgan

2: CITB Grant Scheme

Liz commenced her presentation on Levy, confirming that the Levy Order is with Parliament awaiting final ratification. This will fix the levy rates for the next 3 years, commencing 2018. The rates put forward are 0.35% of PAYE and 1.5% of Net CIS payments.

It is the collection of the levy which allows the payment of grants for training.

Before moving on to the new grant scheme, Liz reminded members that the deadline for claims for the current period (for Training Carried out up to 31st March 2018) are:-

Now moving to the New Grant Scheme which comes into effect from April 2018 (see also separate sheet provided). Grants will only be paid on training specific to Construction (as laid down in levy/scope order):

  1. CITB registered employers can claim grant for all sub-contractors.
  2. The Grant Scheme will cover 3 main areas – Apprenticeships; Construction Qualifications and Short Courses.
  3. Apprenticeship grants remain mainly unchanged.
  4. Construction Qualification Grants fall into 2 categories; for Long Period Qualifications (such as HNC’s etc) there is an attendance grant and an achievement grant. Short Period Qualifications (such as NVQs and NEBOSH)
  5. Short Course Grants are where the main changes occur as these must meet specific standards and be provided by an approved training organisation (ATO). There are 3 levels of payment: £30; £70 & £120 and the payment will be based on the complexity of the achievement and nothing to do with the duration of attendance. From 1st April employers should check the on-line directory to check if a course has a standard and which ATO’s can offer it before then making a booking with the provider if they want to receive grant. The grant payment will then be automatic (delegates must have the company CITB registration number to link them to the company for grant purposes as happens now with site safety plus). There will be interim arrangements where a standard is not yet available. Please check though that one is in development. Maximums (a cap) exist based on the number of direct employees you have and your net CIS sub-contract wage bill as declared on your levy return (using an average of £36,000 as an average full time equivalent wage for sub-contractors to give a number) and allowing 3 courses per person. After member questions, Liz clarified that it is the total number of courses not a sum of money, so if all courses attended at the start of the year are at the lower level of payment and higher level ones done after the max. number is reached then no more grant would be paid.
  6. Construction Work Experience Grants are still available for Construction degree students who are employed for work experience placements. There will also still be a non-grant payment for pre-apprenticeship work experience which should be discussed with the Apprenticeship Team – The Experience Construction support.
  7. All grant claims will be done on line, so it is imperative that all claimants have registered for on-line grants.

Liz advised that about £150 million is allocated by CITB for the grant scheme, and an additional £20million is available to registered employers through funding routes.
For employers of less than 100 staff, the skills and training fund is still a very attractive way to access support. There is one final chance to get a bid in under existing rules for this with a deadline of 26th March.
From 1st April 2018, the only training that will supported via the Skills and Training Fund will be Construction Specific unless it is for Leadership and Management. This training does not have to be through an ATO.

Members raised questions in respect of a number of things covered above and in addition a query about e-learning was raised. Liz confirmed that, if the appropriate standard has e-learning listed as an acceptable mode of delivery then this would be grant aided.

3: HCTA & General Update

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 13th June at DoubleTree by Hilton, Chilworth, Southampton. An update on HCTA funding and discussions on Subscription rates for 2019 will be held as well as an external speaker being in attendance.
Other future meeting dates are confirmed as:-
12th September, Portsmouth & 12th December back in Basingstoke.

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