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CITB to cut staff by more than half

The CITB will reduce its staff numbers by more than half, its new business plan has revealed.

The training body’s Vision 2020 Business Plan for the next three years estimates the workforce will be reduced to fewer than 600 employees by 2020, down from the current total of 1,370.

It emphasised that the reduction in numbers would not come solely through redundancies, as the organisation is outsourcing many functions as part of the changes.

The CITB’s restructure plans follow a government review published in January.

However, details on the exact nature of the job cuts and a timeline for the changes had not been revealed until now.

Despite the job cuts and the outsourcing, CITB chief executive Sarah Beale told CN the changes did not represent a downsizing of operations.

“If you see the figures, and you see the finance, financially this is nothing to do with downsizing,” she said.

“This is to do with having a clarity of purpose and making sure we are absolutely superb at the things that we carry on doing and having the biggest impact, rather than having a whole plethora of activity because we always have.

“That’s what industry told us was very complicated, so we’ve tried to streamline our activity, rather than downsize our activity.

“We want to expand our reach; lots of the initiatives are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses in the supply chain.

“It’s about really getting them involved and making it as easy as possible to get involved.”

Ms Beale also revealed to CN that the organisation was assisting the government in the wake of Carillion’s collapse to come up with potential solutions should another major firm go bust.

“We’ve viewed all the data we’ve obtained on the apprenticeship fallout from Carillion,” she said.

“We’ve been working with the Carillion taskforce set up by Greg Clark to inform them on potential models should anything like this happen again to a company in the future.”

The CITB boss praised the industry’s response in offering places to Carillion apprentices who had found themselves out of work.

More than 80 per cent of the trainees at the collapsed contractor have been found new positions.

Ms Beale said she wanted to make the most of that engagement.

“The massive positive for me was the number of employers that stepped forward. In several months for us to have placed over 80 per cent is fantastic.

“With the employers who said they could take on a Carillion apprentice but that didn’t end up taking one for whatever reason, we’ve been able to go back to them with other opportunities.

“It has actually really promoted apprenticeships as a route. Rather than it be damaging we’re actually using it as a really positive opportunity to link up employers with even more apprentices.”

CITB spending for 2018-21

  • £613m on training and development to deliver skills outcomes
  • £31m on engagement, securing the skills policy framework
  • £17m on careers, increasing from £3m in 2018/19 to £8m in 2020/21
  • £9m on building CITB’s evidence base, identify needs and delivering outcomes
  • £4m on standards and qualifications, providing consistency and quality.


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