Latest TunnelSkills News

Here are the latest training, grants and funding updates, opportunities and initiatives that you may find of interest.

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1. Changes to CITB Plant Standards and Grants. CITB are currently in the process of undertaking a review and publishing new plant training standards for all categories. Initially it is planned that the 8 most popular categories of plant will be issued in the first instance and then after a 6-month review period the remaining categories will be reviewed with training standards published thereafter. This means that after 1st January 2023, the following 8 categories will have a combined grant for plant training and assessment which means a grant will only be claimed by levy paying companies for training and testing which results in the issuing a CSCS affiliated card such as CPCS.

  1. Excavator 360, above 10 tonnes (tracked)
  2. Forward tipping dumper (wheeled)
  3. Rear tipping dumper/ dump truck: articulated chassis (all sizes)
  4. Ride on Roller
  5. Telescopic handler: all sizes excluding 360 slew
  6. Industrial forklift
  7. Plant and Vehicle Marshaller
  8. Slinger, Signaller: all types, all duties

All other CPCS categories will be grant funded in the current way until the training standard review for that category has been completed (including A51 MSV). Due to these changes, unless training for plant categories results in the issuing a CPCS or CSCS affiliated card, then plant training grant will be removed.

To claim grant, employers will only need to give their CITB registration number to the Approved Training Organisation (ATO) delivering the training and testing. By making these changes CITB aim to make claiming grant for plant training and testing simpler and straightforward for employers. Further information is available here:

Would you like to have your say? If any employers, their supply chains, or providers are potentially interested in joining the industry working groups who are working with the CITB standards team to develop the new plant training standards they can email for more information.

2. CITB Short course grants CITB pay grants for the achievement of approved short courses, which last from 3 hours to 29 days. Short course grants are paid for the achievement of short duration courses which align to approved construction-related standards, or to approved standard titles where the standards are undergoing development. This includes plant training linked to any card scheme courses and the theory and practical elements of Construction Plant Competency Scheme (CPCS) technical tests. Further information, including eligibility requirements, is available here:

3. CITB Skills and Training Fund For companies with fewer than 250 directly employed staff. The Skills and Training fund aims to help micro, small and medium-sized construction companies to deliver high quality learning and development experiences to employees, and can include management and leadership training, helping you unlock growth through new technology or introducing new skills to improve productivity in your business. Further information is available here:

4. Government incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice Employers and training providers could be eligible for £1,000 each if they hire an eligible apprentice:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 with an education, health and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority

Further information is available here: Incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice - GOV.UK (

5. 'Travel to Train' - Apprenticeship Travel and Accommodation Funding CITB is widening the support offer for employers with apprentices who have to 'Travel to Train'. CITB will fund 80% of accommodation costs for eligible apprentices of grant eligible employers who attend colleges or training providers where overnight stays and travel to and from a hotel to a place of training, are required. Employers can also claim excess costs for apprentice travel where the cost exceeds £30 per week. Further information is available here: Travel to Train.

6. Kickstart Scheme - Government support for employers to take on 16-24 year olds Applications for the Kickstart Scheme closed at midday on 17 December 2021. Check if you are eligible for funding from other employment schemes.

7. Talent Retention Scheme TRS The Construction Talent Retention Scheme (TRS) is supported by the Construction Leadership Council, CITB and a wide range of employers, industry bodies, professional institutions and construction unions. It is a free to use recruitment and talent management platform dedicated to supporting the attraction, development and retention of people and skills in the industry. Further information is available here:

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