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Trade bodies slam make-up of CITB chair panel

Four trade bodies have slammed a decision not to include an SME representative on a panel to choose the CITB’s next chairman. 

The National Federation of Builders (NFB), the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the Scottish Building Federation and the National Association of Shopfitters have written to skills minister Anne Milton over the move.

The Department for Education is currently advertising for a replacement for James Wates as the CITB’s chairman.

The new chair will take up the four-year role next April and collect a salary of £22,500, working “on average” for one day a week. 

The interview panel includes Department for Education official Gillian Hillier, former construction adviser Paul Morrell and Build UK chief executive Suzannah Nichol.

FMB chief executive Brian Berry branded the failure not to have an SME representative on the panel as “astonishing” and “out of touch with what the industry needs and has been calling for in recent years”.

NFB chief executive Richard Beresford said: “SMEs make up 98 per cent of the construction sector and provide the training ground for most apprentices.”

He added: “I would ask the minister to consider how strong a message she would be sending with a more representative panel.”

The CITB has endured a turbulent year as it had faced a vote on its future amid criticism from some quarters over its ability to deliver the skills industry needed.

Last month the training body unveiled a series of reforms after a government-commissioned review urged wide-ranging changes

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We continue to engage with small and medium sized businesses in the industry to ensure training helps meet their needs.”


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