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From the organisers of

A qualified workforce : A spring clean

2 June 2015
Mark Priestman will help you with your training requirements.

Now May is upon us and spring cleaning is evident. Here are two aspects that will affect our sector’s employers as they qualify the workforce.

Changes to the CITB Levy

Here is a run-down for employers of the changes afoot concerning levy arrangements:

1. Levy is no longer generated on payments to labour-only sub-contractors (LOSCs) but instead on payments to taxable, net paid,

sub-contractors paid through the HMRC Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). This information will be easily extracted from the 12-monthly CIS300 returns that employers send to HMRC

2. In addition to this the Labour-only payments received (LOPR) mechanism that allows employers to offset payments they have received from main contractors (and therefore reduce or wipe out their levy bill) will be removed

3. The Small Business Levy Reduction of 50% that is applied to employers with total PAYE and LOSC payments between £80,000 and £100,000 will be extended to £400,000 when the new scheme is introduced (and will apply to PAYE and Taxable sub-contractor payments)

4. This new calculation will come into effect for the assessment issued in 2017 and will be based on the 2016 Levy Return, which covers the period April 2015 to April 2016. So payments made to taxable sub-contractors from April this year will be the first liable to levy in 2017.

CITB has created a handy calculator so you can gauge how your business might be affected. There are also other help resources on their website at

There was also talk about changes to the way in which grants could be claimed, but so far I have nothing definite to report about this.

The current means for claiming grants against training and assessment appear to remain in operation until the end of October this year, at least according to the CITB website (

More news from CSCS

The Industrial Strategy: Construction 2025 initiative requires that one card scheme be identified and promoted through public procurement for the industry.

In January this year the influential Construction Leadership Council agreed that “the industry, including trade associations, contractors, clients and government, should specify and promote card schemes carrying the CSCS logo with no equivalents accepted”.This call adds weight to the value and perception of the CSCS card.

In my experience, more and more principle contractors and clients are demanding that the workforce being used is correctly carded across the board – labourers and trainees, skilled workers and advanced craftspeople, heritage and supervisory workers, right through to management.

While this affects public sector projects in particular, the revised CDM Regulations are also adding emphasis for the need for stakeholders of pretty much any size project to have in place solid records of their workers’ skills, knowledge and experience.

In this regard, I feel a caution is necessary. Many contractors can see the value of getting their operatives up to Skilled Worker CSCS card status, but the suggestion under the CDM Regulations is for all operational workers to hold a record of verifiable skills, knowledge and experience – that includes contracts management and operations, site supervisors and managers and heritage skills.

As always, I will do my best to assist with any qualification queries you may have if you drop me a line.

Mark Priestman is a Partner at Priestman Associates LLP, a leading façade preservation project consultancy. From stonemasonry and heritage skills through to Site Supervision and Conservation Management, the partnership is trusted by the leading brands of the sector as an NVQ provider for experienced, upskiller and apprentice workers.  Mobile: 07876 687212


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