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Fresh thinking and fresh blood are critical

The CITB is not broken but it is going to require lots and lots of work to get it to where it needs to be. This, in a nutshell, is CITB interim chief executive William Burton’s assessment of the task in hand after six weeks in the job.

In our exclusive first interview, Mr Burton strikes a reassuring tone. No, he doesn’t anticipate job losses; yes, the organisation could perhaps work better. Externally, too, he’s gone down well so far.

It will be interesting to see how long he stays in post - his appointment was for six months, but from the way he’s talking about the triennial review, it sounds as if he could be there longer.

Most important is that he does what he is promising - focusing on the job in hand, calming nerves, assessing the situation and applying the “fresh thinking and fresh blood” that he rightly recognises he brings to the role.

For anyone outside the CITB - and, one hopes, the people within it - the priority is to ensure that the review doesn’t distract.

More than ever, the industry must keep its focus on the skills and training needs of the industry. It needs to be at the heart of the action points outlined in the industrial strategy last week - to tackle “capability and capacity”, make apprenticeships less dependent on market forces and establish common routes to entry and career paths.

Most of these things need to be done by summer next year - they can’t wait.

In the meantime, Construction News is this week delighted to launch and support two initiatives that are all about the development of the industry over the next decade and more.

I am delighted that my encouragement last week to share the reasons you love construction has resulted in such an explosion of enthusiasm - enough for us to this week launch an official ‘Love Construction’ campaign for the whole industry.

This is just the start - watch this space for more to follow - and please get in touch to let me know how you would like this to develop. We have a fantastic opportunity.

Construction News is also proud to be an official partner of Open Doors Weekend 2013, which we will be supporting in the build-up, the weekend itself and beyond.

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