Orchard Training & Education offer support and guidance to ensure you can access funding & grants to train your current and future workforce. 

About the CITB Levy

CITB is empowered to impose a levy on employers in the construction industry.

Does the levy apply to you?

The levy applies to all employers ‘engaged wholly or mainly in construction industry activities’. In other words, when construction activitie take up more than half of your total employees’ time (including subcontractors).

Find out more about who should register

How much is it?

How much levy you pay is based on your total wage bill (the amount you pay your employees in a year).

Here the word ‘employees’ specifically means individuals on the payroll and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) subcontractors who you make a CIS deduction from. This is defined by Industrial Training legislation.


The rates are:

  • 0.35% on  total payments to all employees on the payroll
  • 1.25% on Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) subcontractors who you deduct CIS tax from (commonly known as net CIS sub-contractors)

There are some exemptions and reductions in the levy for small employers.  Find out more about levy rates and how they are assessed

What’s the purpose of the CITB Levy?

The CITB Levy is used to support construction employers to make sure the industry has the skilled workforce it needs.

It is dedicated to ensuring the construction workforce has the right skills for now and the future, based around our three strategic priorities:

  • Careers
  • Standards and qualifications
  • Training and development

You can apply for grants for individuals on approved apprenticeships for:

Intermediate and advanced apprenticeships

  • Levels 2 (intermediate) and 3 (advanced) apprenticeship frameworks, lasting 2 years or more in England and Wales.
  • Levels 2 and above of the new apprenticeship standards in England, lasting 1 year or more.
  • Scottish Modern Apprenticeships at SCQF Levels 5 and 6 lasting between 1 and 4 years.
  • Scottish Technical Apprenticeships at SCQF Levels 6, 7 & 8 lasting between 1 & 2 years

Higher apprenticeships:

  • Levels 4 (higher) and above higher apprenticeship frameworks and standards in England and Wales, lasting between 1 and 6 years.
  • Scottish Professional Apprenticeships at SCQF Levels 9 & 11 lasting between 1 & 2 years. 
  • Graduate Level Apprenticeships at SCQF Levels 8 & 10, lasting between 1 and 6 years

You are eligible apply for grants if you

These grants support directly employed staff on the payroll. Apprenticeship grants are not available for subcontractors. 

You must also be using approved training and apprenticeship providers. Please refer to the appropriate apprenticeship frameworks below for details.

What you must do

You must:

  • Offer the full work experience required by the apprenticeship or associated VQ in compliance with the relevant Apprenticeship funding rules in England, Scotland or Wales.
  • Equip your apprentice with appropriate tools and personal protective equipment.
  • Give your apprentice access to the support and guidance needed.
  • Pay your apprentice an appropriate wage, agreed by both of you.
  • Inform us immediately if your apprentice leaves the training programme or your employment.

For further information about paying your apprentice, you can:

We may reduce, withhold or reclaim grants if we are not satisfied that adequate training has been or is being provided. We will take action to recover overpayments if you fail to inform us promptly about changes in your apprentice’s circumstances.

rant rates depend on the apprenticeship type and the duration of the course. 

Rates are fixed for the duration of the apprenticeship as given in the Grants Scheme year the apprenticeship starts, even if they change in later Grants Scheme years.

Programmes under the new apprenticeship standards may vary in length, so attendance grants are prorated based on their duration.

New apprenticeship rates for all levels 

From 1 April 2019 new apprentices at all levels will be entitled to the grant rates detailed below:

1st year of attendance£2,500
2nd year of attendance£2,500
3rd year of attendance£2,500
Achievement of all levels of apprenticeship framework/EPA £3,500

Only apprentices starting their apprenticeship with their provider after 1 April 2019 will be eligible for the newly increased payment rates.

The achievement grant of £3,500 will be paid to all apprentices who have achieved their apprenticeships after 1 April 2019, even if they started before 1 April 2019.

See Apprenticeships for England and Wales for the apprenticeships this grant will support.

See Apprenticeships for Scotland for the apprenticeships this grant will support.

If you do not see an apprenticeship in the current list of those eligible for grant, you can complete an online form to suggest it for consideration.

Payment of grants

You will be eligible for attendance grants once your apprentice has completed 13 weeks of continuous contracted employment.

For information on how we pay Apprenticeship grants, please refer to How to apply to claim a grant above.

Change of employers

If an apprentice changes employers during their apprenticeship, attendance and achievement grants will be paid pro-rata according to the proportion of the total training package completed with each employer.

Registrations before 1 April apprenticeship rates

Intermediate and Advanced level apprenticeships (Level 2 and 3 and SCQF Level 5 and 6)

We will continue to make payments at the appropriate rate for the remainder of the programme for apprentices who started their training and registered for grant support before the start of the 2018/2019 Grants Scheme year (1 April 2019).

1st year of attendance£1,965
2nd year of attendance£1,660
3rd year of attendance£1,125

The same applies to apprentices who:

  • qualified for Enhanced Apprenticeship Support (formerly known as Supplementary Payment), and
  • started training and registered for grant support before 1 April 2019.

The new achievement grant of £3500 will be paid to all apprentices who have achieved their apprenticeships after 1 April 2019, even if they started before 1 April 2019.

Higher apprenticeships (England and Wales Level 4 and above, SCQF Levels 8 and above)

We will continue to make payments at the appropriate rate for the remainder of the programme for higher apprentices who started their training and registered for grant support before the start of the 2019/2020 Grants Scheme year (1 April 2019). 

The payment rate before the 1 April 2019 for each year of attendance on a higher apprenticeship is £1,125

The payment rate for all apprentices who have achieved a higher apprentice framework achievement or EPA before the 1 April 2019 is £3,125.

The same applies to apprentices who:

  • qualified for Enhanced Apprenticeship Support (formerly known as Supplementary Payment), and
  • started training and registered for grant support before 1 April 2019.

The new achievement grant of £3500 will be paid to all apprentices who have achieved their apprenticeships after 1 April 2019, even if they started before 1 April 2019.

Short course grants

We pay grants for the achievement of approved short  courses, which last from 3 hours to 29 days and are focused on the core construction skills needed across the industry.

On this page you will find the following: 


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.

Who can apply to claim a grant

You can apply if you’re registered with us and meet our general Grants Scheme terms and conditions and the course criteria in this grant. Short course grants are available for all directly employed staff and all subcontractors.

Which courses are eligible?

Search the full list of short duration courses eligible for grant

Please note that we are still developing a full standard for some of these courses on behalf of the construction industry. We have listed the course titles according to the titles of the training standards which are being developed.

In some cases, the training standard title incorporates several individual course titles under a common title. So if at first you can’t locate a specific course title, please search for key terms.

Approved courses are provided by CITB Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) who will be listed in the Construction Training Directory (External link – Opens in a new tab or window).

Courses can be delivered in a number of ways and the industry-accepted methods of delivery are defined within the published course standard, including:

  • classroom, where the course is the full duration as published in the standard
  • e-learning, where the course is at least 50% of the published duration in the standard
  • a blend of classroom and e-learning, where the course is at least 75% of the published duration in the standard

For example, where a published standard defines the duration as 1 day, a classroom based course must be a full day to align to the standard, whilst an e-learning course must be at least half a day (3 hours) to align to the standard.

Over time, certain course standards will be withdrawn or replaced to align with industry requirements. Occupational Working Groups representing different sectors of the industry have agreed that these course standards are no longer relevant or needed by the sector. We give notice where we are withdrawing a standard so you can see that if you  have completed the training before the withdrawal date you can still claim for the course.

Search for standards and find which ones have been withdrawn.

If you know of a construction-related course that you believe is not already identified on the list of grant eligible training, complete our suggest a course form.


How much is it?

We pay grants at three tiered rates. The tier is determined by the duration and content of the course:

  • tier 1 is £30
  • tier 2 is £70
  • tier 3 is £120

You can find out which grant tier a course has from the approved course list.

We only pay a grant once for each individual per course, unless it’s part of a renewal or refresher process.

Renewal courses

Renewals involve the repetition of a full course.

If the standard requires the training to be renewed after a specified time, you can apply for a full grant for it, provided that it’s completed within that time period.

You can only claim once for renewal training within the required time period.

Refresher courses

Refresher courses update knowledge and understanding in a shorter duration training course than the original, full training course. 

The grant available for Refresher training is 50% of the Tier 1, 2 or 3 rates given for the original full-length course. 

We will only support refreshers once a full training standard has been developed and is in place.

Plant tests grant rates

Grant is paid for passing the theory and practical elements of CPCS technical tests only.

Theory elements are £60 each, up to a maximum of 2 per person per Grants Scheme year.

Practical elements are paid at different rates depending on the category of plant, up to a maximum of 2 per person per Grants Scheme year:

  • Rate 1: £190
  • Rate 2: £240
  • Rate 3: £410 

Note: These rates apply to CPCS tests only. Please see vocational qualification grants for special Plant vocational qualification grant rate.

How many applications are allowed?

There is a cap on how many applications you can make for short duration achievements in any one Grants Scheme year. This cap does not apply to plant test grant where a maximum number of tests per person, per year are paid (see above).

We work out this number from your 2018 or 2019 Levy Return, based on how many employees you have on the payroll and your subcontractor wage bill.

We add:

  • the number of employees on the payroll
  • the number of Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) subcontractors who you make CIS tax deductions from (Net CIS subcontractors). (We calculate this figure by dividing your total Net CIS wage figure by £36,000 which is the average subcontractor wage based on earnings of £750 per week over 48 weeks).

If your Net CIS wage figure is less than £3 million, we’ll use your total CIS (gross and net) wage figure instead, up to a maximum of £3 million.

We then take the sum of the two figures and multiply it by 3 to get the total cap figure for your entire workforce for the year.

Note: if your cap works out to be less than 21 achievements in a grant year, it will be adjusted up to 21.

How to apply

You should make your application through your CITB Approved Training Organisation (ATO) in the  Construction Training Directory (External link – Opens in a new tab or window), supplying them with the relevant details of the person taking the qualification and your 7-digit CITB registration number.

When the person has completed the course, the provider will update the Construction Training Register and you should automatically receive the grant payment.

Please contact our customer services team if your payment is not received within one month of completing the course.

If your training provider has not yet completed the CITB ATO approval process, you will need to apply through CITB Online within 20 weeks of completing the course. 

If your learner has achieved a CPCS test or a Site Safety Plus course, or you are using an Approved Training Organisation (ATO), you do not need to make a claim for a Short course grant. We will make automatic payment, if eligible, via Bacs using the data provided when you book the course.

Skills and training fund

What this fund is for

This fund provides assistance for micro and small construction companies to develop a stronger skills base. Specifically, it provides an extra incentive for you to access CITB grant eligible training.

Who can apply for funding

CITB-registered employers with up to directly employed 99 staff on the payroll. Employers can apply for funding once every 12 months.

How much you can apply for

CITB-registered employers can apply for funding related to how many direct employees they have:

  • Employers with 1 to 49 directly employed staff can receive up to £5,000.
  • Employers with 50 to 74 directly employed staff can receive up to £7,500.
  • Employers with 75 to 99 directly employed staff can receive up to £10,000.

How to apply

Before you apply, please read the Terms of funding for Skills and training fund.

To apply for funding, follow the guidance notes provided in the Skills and Training application form (PDF 271KB).

To complete and submit the form, you should: 

  1. Download the application form and save it to your computer
  2. Complete all fields
  3. Ensure that you regularly save this application to your desktop to prevent loss of data
  4. Save and send the completed form to