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CITB job losses loom in major shake-up

Job losses loom at the CITB after the training body laid out plans to streamline its operations as part of a major shake-up revealed today.

CITB chief executive Sarah Beale said there will be “tough calls to make” and “big changes” for the CITB’s staff, but added that the organisation would support colleagues through the changes.

Ms Beale and CITB management briefed staff today on its plans for the next three years, which include streamlining the workforce, outsourcing many of its operations and moving from its 50-year-old Bircham Newton base in Norfolk.

“I understand this strategy will bring about big changes to employees at CITB and we will be supporting our colleagues as much as possible throughout this process,” Ms Beale said.

“These are tough calls to make, but needed if we are to meet the future demands and make the greatest impact to construction.” 

The changes were laid out as part of the CITB’s Vision 2020: The Future CITB strategy, which it said would create a simpler, more streamlined organisation.

The CITB, which employs around 1,322 staff, would not confirm to Construction News if this would directly result in job cuts, or how many jobs could potentially go.

However, Unite called the restructuring a “hammer blow” and claimed it will put hundreds of jobs at risk. 

It is understood that today’s briefing is not a consultation over staff roles, with a potential review of staff positions set to happen next year.   

The move comes following the CITB’s consensus vote in September, which saw the industry vote to retain the CITB but also call for major reform of the body.

Last week the government’s much-delayed review of the CITB called for major change at the organisation.

As part of these changes, the organisation has revealed plans to outsource many of its back office and customer service functions by the end of next year.

The areas to be outsourced include its finance, procurement, legal, HR, marketing and estates and facilities management teams.

It also vowed to move away from directly delivering training through its National Construction College and move from its Bircham Newton headquarters to a new base in Peterborough. It is understood the CITB is looking to find a new manager for the NCN.

Ms Beale added: “We have worked hard to develop robust, well thought-out plans which meet our industry’s needs whilst building a solid foundation for CITB’s future.

“The proposals outlined today will be phased in over the next three years, and with our customers always in mind it’s business as usual.”

However Unite regional co-ordinating officer Mark Robinson said: “These proposals essentially would slash, trash and privatise the CITB.

“The likelihood of finding a training provider willing and capable to take on the National Construction College function of the Bircham Newton site and other NCC sites across the country is difficult to ascertain and puts hundreds of jobs at serious risk.”

Mark Reynolds, Mace’s chief executive and skills lead for the Construction Leadership Council, said: “We’re very pleased to see the CITB’s modernisation plans come to fruition. If it can deliver the far-reaching proposals laid out in today’s announcement I think it will be a hugely positive step for the industry as a whole.

”I look forward to working closely with Sarah and the team as they build a more engaged, responsive and accountable CITB.”


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