Press release

Paul Morrell to advise major review of industrial training boards

Skills Minister Robert Halfon invites industry expert to advise major government review of the industrial training boards.

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Robert Halfon, the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, has today (26 October 2016) announced that Paul Morrell, the former government construction advisor, has agreed to use his expertise in helping determine the future shape of industrial training boards.

The announcement follows the publication of a report by Mark Farmer for the Construction Leadership Council (published 17 Oct 2016) ‘Modernise or Die’which posed a number of questions about the ability of the UK construction sector to maintain and expand capacity, and the effectiveness and future role for the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

Paul Morrell OBE is an English chartered quantity surveyor, former senior partner of Davis Langdon, and from November 2009 to November 2012 the UK government’s first Chief Construction Adviser. He led the UK Government, Innovation and Growth Team that produced ‘Low Carbon Construction’ (published in November 2010) and was also the instigator of the ‘Government Construction Strategy’ (published in May 2011) which championed collaboration and the use of information technology - notably building information modelling.

Robert Halfon, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills said:

I am delighted Paul has agreed to lend his experience and advice to this important review. Paul is a highly respected figure both in the industry and in government and is known as a strong force for change and modernisation.

The government’s ambitious infrastructure and housing plans require a step up in capability and capacity in the construction sector. Training boards can help deliver the skills we desperately need and I look forward to seeing some real recommendations from this review.

Notes for editors

The governments skills plan, launched this summer, announced major reforms to improve vocational education and establishing clear routes to skilled employment. The report also acknowledged that there were particular areas of priority within the economy that are reliant on certain key skills being available, and the government would take action to address those challenges.

The CITB, and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Boards (ECITB) are funded by the industries they serve, not government, by way of a statutory training levy. The levy proceeds are redistributed by the industrial training boards chiefly in the form of grants to subsidise training costs in the sector.

The introduction of the apprenticeship levy in April 2017 will impact on larger companies currently in scope of the levies operated by the industrial training boards. A key question for the review, and any subsequent levy order will be whether market failures in construction still require a separate levy and grant system and if so, how this can operate alongside the apprenticeship levy.

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Published 26 October 2016