Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

CITB in talks to slim down board

The CITB board has held reform talks but a decision on the shake-up of its corporate governance has not yet been made.

CITB chairman James Wates confirmed that the skills body is working towards a new structure with a smaller board.

Mr Wates said: “In being fit for the future, the organisation will be best served by a smaller, more diverse and better skilled board that will set the strategic framework to address the industry’s skills and training needs.”

He said it would be accompanied by “a larger CITB Council, with a wide range of stakeholders from across the three nations, regions and sectors”, to provide a collective voice for the industry.

“In being fit for the future, the organisation will be best served by a smaller, more diverse and better skilled board”

James Wates, CITB

“Consultation with industry is underway on how best to deliver this modern and efficient governance structure for CITB,” Mr Wates added.

Last month CITB deputy chairman Judy Lowe told Construction News the board would consider an “alternative structure” for the organisation at its July meeting.

Ms Lowe said: “We are looking at whether a board is the most effective way of governing the CITB.”

She added that with over 20 members meeting just four times a year, the board did not have the necessary “fleet of foot” to meet the pace of change in the construction industry.

These sentiments have been echoed by industry sources, who have accused the CITB board of being too big and representing the vested interests of trade associations.

“We are looking at whether a board is the most effective way of governing the CITB”

Judy Lowe, CITB

But a decision on how to shake-up the organisation’s governance was not reached at its most recent two-day board meeting in July.

A CITB spokesman confirmed that “no final decisions were taken and there is a bit more to-ing and fro-ing to be done before the board is ready to commit to anything”.

Sources close to the CITB told Construction News that the board achieved agreement in principle that structural changes would be necessary, but that it remains a work in progress with further negotiations needed to align each representative’s interests.

They added that they now do not expect a decision until this autumn at the earliest, with the next CITB board meeting scheduled for October.

The training board is currently in the midst of its triennial review by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills.

Speaking to Construction News in July, interim chief executive of the CITB William Burton said BIS would look at the internal governance of the industry body as part of its formal review process.

He added that it would be beneficial for the organisations to review its structure in partnership and for BIS to endorse the board’s proposals.  

At its July meeting, the CITB board approved plans put forward by its training committee to inject £30m into the construction industry to incentivise training.

The organisation will provide an exceptional training grant of £15m to reward employers, and will make an extra £15m available to incentivise employers to train within its 2013/14 Grants Scheme, which all eligible employers can claim from.

It came after it was revealed the number of companies claiming grants for training has fallen by 62 per cent since 2008.

One industry source said he expects the new structure to be a smaller board with stakeholders and a number of non-executive directors to run the organisation.

But another said the scope of the board is more important than its size. They added that the CITB board needs to understand what its remit is and have the right representatives to make decisions and deliver on them.

The formal two-stage review by BIS is due to report in March 2014, which could take discussions on reforming the organisational structure of the CITB into next year.

Mr Wates said: “The strategic re-structuring conducted alongside/feeding into the triennial review is a perfect opportunity to ensure the CITB’s relevance and influence and to ensure that the sector is fit for modern purpose.”

The organisation recently warned of a skills ‘time bomb’ in the construction industry with more than 400,000 people set to retire in the next 10 years.

Sources said the CITB has an important role to play in helping the industry assess its future needs and in providing the necessary skills training to meet those needs.

But, they warned, the organisation needs to quickly address the barriers preventing it from operating effectively so it can deliver for the construction industry in the long term.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.