Press Releases 2017

ECITB annual report reveals sustained support for industry skills

The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) has today (6th July) published its annual report and accounts for 2016.

06 July 2017/Categories: Media News, Press Releases 2017

The report sets out the achievements and financial position of the training board in 2016. It reveals that despite the challenging operating environment across parts of the engineering construction industry, significant investment was made by the ECITB in the industry skills base last year.

The ECITB invested £34 million in training and upskilling across the industry in 2016. This included approximately £12 million in technical training and £7 million to support apprenticeships. While the number of apprenticeship starts fell in 2016, investment in management and professional training increased to £12 million, demonstrating the significant appetite for higher-level skills among employers, including project management and Continuing Professional Development.

2016 also saw the ECITB consult with industry on its levy rates for the period 2017-2019. The proposals were supported by the vast majority of employers (78% of levy payers, accounting for 87% of aggregate levy). In light of the ongoing economic pressures on industry, this represents an overwhelming endorsement for the ECITB’s work and its future direction.

The ECITB has recently launched a new strategy, which will position it effectively to boost skills over the coming decade and enable industry to respond to technological change. The strategy also includes measures to enhance the organisation’s advocacy and research functions to provide vital policy and labour market intelligence to industry and Government.

The strategy builds on 2016’s restructuring programme, which consolidated back office and overseas commercial activities. This is expected to deliver reductions in operating costs and overheads from 2017, thereby improving ECITB’s cost-effectiveness and maximising value for money for levy-paying employers.

Chris Claydon, Chief Executive of the ECITB, said:

“The Engineering Construction Industry is vital to the economic prosperity of the UK. Without it, the country’s critical national infrastructure would not be built or maintained.  It is also a highly skilled industry that requires continuous investment in people and skills – a role that ECITB has performed successfully for over two decades.

2016 was another highly positive year for the ECITB, amid significant challenges facing the industry. In 2017, we will build on our successes by implementing a new strategy and working with industry to raise skill levels, increase transferable skills and drive up productivity. We will also work closely with Government to ensure the skills needs of future infrastructure projects are met, and we look forward to acting on the outcomes of the ITB Review.

Shirley Watson, Interim Chairman of the ECITB, said:

“In spite of the challenges facing industry, the need to train and upskill the workforce remains a constant. Over the last 25 years, the ECITB has ensured training occurs regardless of the economic climate and remains critical to driving up skills levels across the engineering construction industry.

 With the strong new mandate secured through the 2016 levy consultation, the ECITB is in an excellent position to build on its successes and continue to drive skills growth across the industry. This vital work is essential to ensure that the industry builds a secure and sustainable workforce for the future.

Notes to editors:

  1. The ECITB is the skills, standards and qualifications body with statutory responsibility for the development of the engineering construction workforce. 

  2. The 2016 Annual report and accounts is available at 

  3. The engineering construction industry (ECI) delivers and maintains the nation’s critical energy infrastructure, including in the oil and gas, nuclear and renewables sectors, alongside major process industries, such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food processing, water and waste treatment. 

  4. The ECITB works closely with employers and governments to attract, develop and qualify engineering construction personnel in a wide range of craft, technical and professional skills and disciplines. The ECITB provides engineering and project delivery skills across the energy, processing and construction industries. 

  5. Over the last 25 years the ECITB has supported over 1.4 million learners.

Further information:

David Nash, 07919112714

Avril Goodenough,  01923 402123