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Bam Nuttall chief backs CITB

Bam Nuttall chief executive Steve Fox has confirmed the contractor will vote for the continuation of CITB, Construction News can reveal.

The industry will vote next month on whether to scrap the CITB’s training levy or keep it in place.

Under the triennial consensus vote, the CITB must get backing from at least half the construction industry to allow it to continue collecting funds from firms past next April.

Mr Fox called on the industry to “recognise what the CITB does and could do” by voting to retain the training body.

He said that although reform of the CITB was necessary, much of its work was “unseen by large parts of the industry” and went “unappreciated”.

Mr Fox said: “If we didn’t already have the CITB, the industry would need to invent it.

“The apprenticeship levy funding is far from being a replacement and no existing trade association or sector body has the pan-industry reach and funding mechanism to deliver what the CITB does, and more importantly could do, with the right governance and support.”

He added that larger contractors rely on the content and standards set by the CITB to deliver their training.

However, other industry leaders have indicated they will vote not to support the organisation.

Earlier this month, Balfour Beatty chief executive Leo Quinn said his firm is likely to vote against the continuation of the CITB.

Mr Quinn, whose company is the CITB’s biggest levy-payer, said construction’s current skills shortage proved that the CITB was not delivering on its remit to create the skills the industry needed.

Mr Quinn said: “To justify its continued existence alongside the wider apprenticeship levy, the CITB levy must deliver what its levy-payers – let alone the UK as a whole – critically need: the newly-skilled workers to upgrade our infrastructure.

“Based on the information released by the CITB to date, we have little basis for confidence and strongly believe this is too important to leave to chance.”

Earlier this week, Construction News revealed the UK’s major housebuilders are also set to vote against the CITB levy.

A spokesman for the HBF told CN: “Sections of the housebuilding industry have been frustrated with the CITB’s performance in recent years and we need to ensure that whatever emerges from this process better enables housebuilders to train the people it needs to deliver the homes of the future.

“We will be polling members with regards to how we as an industry vote and will be led by them accordingly.

“This is a key decision for the construction industry as a whole in terms of how we manage training in the future.”

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