The Construction Industry Training Board could shed hundreds of jobs, union officials warn, amid plans to shut offices.
CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) is planning to shut its offices and college at Bircham Newton, Norfolk, by the end of 2019.
Construction Industry Training Board
The CITB is funded by a levy on building firms, will no longer carry out specialist in-house training and would not comment on the extent of any job losses. In future, the body will oversee training by external private sector providers.
Unite national officer Jerry Swain said the plans were a “hammer blow for the construction industry and for the workers at the CITB”.
In a statement Sarah Beale, stated: “Construction needs to modernize and CITB is no exception. We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact on people here” but would not comment on the extent of any job losses.
She is confident in her commitment to becoming a more representative, accountable and reliable.
The firm employs about 600 staff in Norfolk and 1,400 in total nationwide.
Training and Modernization
A government review of the CITB found that although construction employers and trade associations voted for the industry levy to continue, there was heavy criticism of how it currently operates.
The CITB said in future it would use levy money to ensure a sustainable training and development of the market, only intervening to provide a service where it’s unavailable on the market or not to the quality level that is sought.
The changes were criticised by the MP for north-west Norfolk, Sir Henry Bellingham as “ill-thought-out, very poorly costed” adding “world-class facilities” at Bircham could be lost.
It really does seem completely perverse that at a time when the industry needs more specialist skills and more innovative re-skilling, the CITB are thinking of completely pulling out of Bircham.
The union stated doubted “if any private provider could provide the same level of training at the same cost”.
Unite stated it would now be seeking the views of members to see what action could be taken to defend the hundreds of job losses.
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