The ECITB Board has today written to levy payers to inform them the annual levy collection process is now underway and that they will shortly receive their levy assessments.
Following what has been an unprecedented year, the Board has reminded employers of the vital role the levy plays in supporting industry to train and develop its workforce.
Last year, the levy enabled the ECITB to protect and develop the industry’s skills base in the face of Covid-19 and the economic downturn. Demand for training from employers was higher than expected with the ECITB spending approximately £22m on training and we expect strong demand will continue through 2021.
ECITB Chair, Lynda Armstrong, said: “The Board took decisive action at the start of the first lockdown to launch the ECITB’s crisis response package, investing levy funds in a range of critical initiatives. This includes Train to Retain, which is securing the future of apprentices, graduates and trainees and the Scholarship programme, which is helping to maintain the pipeline of fresh talent joining our industry.
“The ECITB also kept training and assessment going through lockdown, by investing in remote learning and directly purchasing training on behalf of employers – enabling our people to get the skills they need.”
The Board, which is made up of leading employers and other industry representatives, also highlighted the role of the levy in delivering skills required for the Energy Transition.
“The Engineering Construction Industry will play a leading role in designing, project managing and building the infrastructure required to achieve net zero and it is crucial that our workforce has the requisite skills”, they said.
“The Board and staff are focused on supporting industry through the pandemic and beyond. Our recent strategy update highlights our plans for the next two years, including securing future talent for the industry.”
This is the first year in which the new offsite levy rate, agreed by levy payers at the last consultation in Autumn 2019, takes effect. The offsite rate will now be calculated at 0.2% of gross wages and labour payments, while the site rate will remain the same at 1.2%. The assessments will be calculated against declarations for the 2019/20 base period and estimates will be made where declarations were not submitted.
The Board is acutely aware of the challenging circumstances faced by many employers and appreciates that the timing of the levy assessment is not ideal. The levy is a statutory obligation and the ECITB is required to raise levy from all employers who are required by law to pay it. Affordability of levy payments is critical, and employers who anticipate difficulties in making payment in Q1 2021 should contact their account manager as soon as possible.
The ECITB’s recent update to the Leading Industry Strategy is available here