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CITB announces 20% cost reduction amid pledge to give more back to employers

The CITB will cut costs by 20 per cent and reduce staff headcount by a third over the next three years as part of a drive to increase efficiency.

As part of its three-year business plan, the training body plans to increase the proportion of levy income that is returned directly to employers from 84 per cent to 90 per cent.

CITB director of policy Steve Radley told Construction News that the cost savings between now and 2018 would come through a combination of job cuts, investment in technology and outsourcing.

The overhaul is intended to bring the organisation’s costs down from £148m last year to £116m by 2018.

The number of full time equivalent staff is set to drop from around 1,400 to 950.

The CITB has already announced a series of consultations on job cuts that will result in 78 redundancies.

Mr Radley said the CITB will look to outsource a number of back office functions and move some of its services to employers so they will be supplied by commissioned third parties rather than directly.

“Some of this will be about modernising our processes, but where there will be more detailed consultation with the industry is in thinking about what we continue to do as a direct deliverer and what other organisations are best placed to do, and where it’s better to commission [services].”

The organisation has already launched a consultation on its adviser roles, as revealed by Construction News last month.

“In that case we had a lot of duplicated roles,” said head of policy Gillian Econopouly. “We will look at more areas like that where we have roles that overlap and streamline those so employers get a clearer point of contact, but also so we’re saving money and targeting what employers really need.”

The business plan has been put in place following meetings this week with levy-paying contractors and trade bodies including Build UK and the Federation of Master Builders.

Last year, the CITB raised £182.8m in levy income, with employers receiving £153.5m in funding. Under the new target, that amount would increase to £164.5m.

The change comes as the government continues its consultation over its own proposed apprenticeship levy, which could run alongside the CITB levy.

Mr Radley said that employers were “looking very closely” at the government levy and its apprenticeship funding reforms.

“They need a lot more clarity from government in terms of how that’s going to work,” he added. “Then we can look at the grant scheme and how we can help them invest in apprenticeships.”

In December, skills minister Nick Boles said there was “no reason” the two levies could not co-exist.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Well you heard it here first straight from CITB's communications department - will costs be cut there too I wonder?

    To be clear, the loss of the adviser roles and the earlier cuts which take effect in March have been a major blow to levy payers and represent serious reductions in levels of service which has in the past helped the organisation to "Add Value" and work in partnership with the industry.

    Reading this report, one would think that CITB simply collects the money and then hands it straight back out again - were it so simple there would clearly be no need for CITB.

    However, this is the drection in which CITB is now headed, it has lost support from many large employers in the sector and now has less support from SME's where support has in any case been somewhat weaker in the past. Most importantly, CITB has sacked its experienced staff and replaced them with spin doctors like Mr. Radley whilst elevating many strategy staff with poor understanding of the industry. Meanwhile the organisation now led by Adrian Belton (anybody see him fluff his speech at the Pride of Cnstruction Awards?) has stopped listening to the industry as it sees itself as responsible to civil servants in the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

    It is time all levy payers had their say on the future of the organisation. There is no need for a costly strategic review at this time. Bring forward consensus to let the industry decide if it wishes to continue with the CITB levy - let the industry decide if it is going to pay twice with George Osbourne's Apprenticeship levy about to start to bite?

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