CITB unveils £1m digital transformation fund

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has unveiled a £1m fund to help construction firms undergo a digital transformation to keep pace with rapid change in the sector.

Revealing details at the Digital Construction Summit, organised by Construction Manager and BIM+, CITB’s strategy & policy director, Steve Radley (pictured above) explained that the main challenges to small and medium-sized employers was not getting the technical skills themselves to use digital technology but rather a lack of understanding of the business opportunities digital transformation brings and the leadership required to make it happen.

The applications must come from groups of at least three organisations – a project lead and two more partners. The partners should include at least two CITB-registered employers, CITB-approved training groups, or construction federations and training associations. 

It is also keen to invite bids from software development companies, management consultancies with digital business change expertise, leadership think tanks, and educational establishments as part of the group.

Meanwhile Sam Stacey, challenge director at Transforming Construction (part of UK Research and Innovation), highlighted the career opportunities for young people that change would bring with it. He said: “We need to bring a manufacturing approach to construction as well as changing the mindset from this obsession with the capital cost to thinking about the user benefits of what we are creating. 

“Construction is going to go through an exciting phase in the next few years. It is the last great unreformed industry. There are so many exciting jobs to be had.”

UKRI is poised to launch a competition for another £36m of funding for research and innovation projects in the construction sector, having already invested around £20m on projects researching areas like artificial intelligence, automation and 3D printing.

CITB has £1m available to invest in a range of projects and will fund up to 70% of the total value of the project.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 18 June, with a deadline for applications submissions of 2 July.

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