In this article for SpecFinish, Helen Yeulet, skills delivery director for FIS, talks about the CITB’s new Construction Training Directory and what this means for subcontractors and training providers in the sector.

The launch of the CITB’s new Construction Training Directory on 3 April opens a whole new world of automation for grant claiming, not just for levy-paying employers but also for labour only subcontractors across the supply chain.

Graham Helm, director at FATE (the Finishing and Associated Trades Equity), said: “Things are definitely moving in the right direction and if this works as it should, it will be a game-changer for the industry to get everyone skilled to the level we need them to be.”

All subcontractors need to register with CITB to enable them to use their levy number to draw down grant for any training within the new Training Directory. The use of grants to train the supply chain at this level was previously managed through levy-paying contractors, and this fundamental change will enable the 70 per cent labour only subcontractors in the interiors sector to own their skills and, ultimately, drive their careers.

Mark Noonan, CITB’s industry relations director, said: “The Grants Scheme supports apprenticeships, qualifications and other training that is to an agreed standard. Grant-supported other training that is to an agreed standard can be found and booked through the Construction Training Directory, if providers have signed up to CITB as an Approved Training Organisation (ATO) and have advertised their courses.

“At launch, the Construction Training Directory will not be fully populated; for example, there are currently around 80 standards approved with an anticipation of almost 600 when fully live.

“Until all standards for other training are approved and ATOs are on board and advertising on the Directory, courses covered by a standard subject area will be grant supported.”

At this stage, not all of the interiors sector training course needs will be within the Training Directory. However, FIS will be working with CITB to develop all training standards and courses needed for the sector. This is a real opportunity to review what is required and expand into areas that currently aren’t provided for. As part of this, FIS will be looking for members across all areas to get involved in this over the next couple of months and help shape the training.

Employers are also being encouraged to maximise their in-house capability of training their staff and supply chain by registering as an ATO, which will enable the automation of grant claims that are within the system.

Mr Noonan added: “Training in-house is fully supported by the new system. Employers training in-house, or using a small bespoke training provider to deliver training for employers, will need to sign up as an ATO to claim grant. This is not required at launch, but CITB would recommend that employers do this as soon as possible online (”

Rebecca Hislam is the HR and training manager at Astins. She commented: “Astins are obviously progressing to become an Approved Training Organisation, which should provide us with the in-house support for all workers across our organisation and ensure the continued development of our workforce.”

FIS Approved Training Providers are registering in readiness for providing both the generic and the sector-specific courses available within the Training Directory. Dan Plosky, Construction NVQ Training Provider manager from Now Get Qualified, highlighted: “Being a CITB ATO will give us recognition, and this should provide assurance to potential clients.

“The automatic grant release and booking system should enable us to simplify and manage clients while speeding up the release of grant to registered organisations and preventing the chance of missed payments.” To register as an employer ATO, visit Or to register as a subcontractor for grant, go to