The changes will start being introduced in January 2023 across England, Scotland and Wales.
The first phase of the changes will see new standards introduced for eight of the most used plant grants. These are:
- excavator 360, above 10 tonnes (tracked)
- forward tipping dumper (wheeled)
- rear tipping dumper/ dump truck: articulated chassis (all sizes)
- ride-on roller
- telescopic handler: all sizes excluding 360 slew
- industrial forklift
- plant and vehicle marshaller
- slinger, signaller: all types, all duties.
Alongside the new standards, the grant rates for plant training and tests will also be changed. Currently, three smaller grants are available for practical test, theory test and short course training, which employers can claim in different ways. Under the new changes a larger single grant will be available for all CITB registered employers.
To claim grant, employers will only need to give their CITB registration number to the approved training organisation (ATO) delivering the training and testing.
CITB said that it hoped the changes would make claiming grants simpler for employers.
Training related to the new standards from January 2023 will only be grant eligible if it is delivered by one of CITB’s ATOs, is quality assured, and leads to a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. Grant funding will not be available for training that does not lead to a card with the CSCS logo on it.
From January, a separate, higher grant rate will be available for employers who are putting staff through plant training, who have never had experience in the type of machinery they are being trained in. This is to help respond to the industry’s need for more people to become plant operators.
Plant operations have been identified as a priority skills area, with 1,330 new entrants reckoned to be needed every year to keep pace with expected demand. CITB said that these changes were designed to support employers to train more employees by increasing CITB’s overall investment in plant grants.
Christopher Simpson, CITB’s head of quality and standards, said: “The introduction of our new standards is in direct response to feedback from the sector. The introduction of these changes will help standardise and improve the quality and consistency of plant training; increase the amount of plant training that takes place before testing; and increase the number of people trained in plant operations, particularly new entrants to construction.
“By responding to the changing needs of the sector, we continue to focus on our priority of supporting the construction industry to have a skilled, competent and inclusive workforce now and in the future.”