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CITB reveals roll-out date for training and grant systems

The CITB will start to roll out a new training model and grant system next month that it claims will cut costs, reduce red tape and make accessing training easier for SMEs.

The new training model will see the creation of a central register of training that individual construction workers have completed.

Firms will be able to check the register to see what skills new employees already possess, helping them avoid duplication of training.

Another database of approved training organisations and courses will also be launched next month.

It is designed to allow SMEs to automatically receive grants when their workers complete courses at one of the registered bodies.

The CITB claims this will minimise paperwork and speed up payments.

Both measures are part of the training body’s goal of being an administrator of and commissioner of industry training, rather than delivering it directly.

CITB chief executive Sarah Beale (pictured) told Construction News last month that the message it had received from the industry was to “get on with” its restructuring

Following a meeting with stakeholders in King’s Lynn, the CITB has decided to stay at its Bircham Newton HQ until 2020, but still plans to put its training college on the market this summer.

The organisation intends to sell the college as a going concern to a new operator, which it hopes can deliver training at a lower cost and possibly offer new services.

The CITB confirmed that it will also be starting consultations with staff regarding the sale of the college and the move to a new HQ.

CITB board member Maria Pilfold said: “CITB will keep its promise to the industry to reform, moving to a new single head office site in 2020, which is a crucial element of our proposals.

“This decision offers further clarity to CITB colleagues and will enable the business to start formal consultations with employees in the near future.”

A spokesperson told Construction News that it was not yet possible to say how the plans would affect jobs at the organisation, which currently employs around 1,300 people.

The planned sale of the college and move from the Bircham Newton site have been criticised by the Unite and GMB unions, which have compared the sale of the National Construction College to “selling off the family silver”.

A Unite spokesperson said: “Doublespeak is alive and well at the CITB. They are dressing up very bad news for the local community, their employees and workers as something positive.

“It is clear that Bircham Newton will be sold off, probably for housing, which enrich a few but is certainly not what industry wants or needs.

“There is no guarantees or promises that the crucial training that the CITB uniquely undertakes will continue.”

The CITB also revealed it will start a tender process to outsource back-office functions including HR, legal, marketing and finance services this month.

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