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Build UK votes to back CITB

Build UK is the latest trade body to vote to support the continuation of the CITB levy.

The trade federation, which represents 40 per cent of UK construction, saw 96 per cent of its members vote, with 96 per cent supporting the CITB.

Build UK is the third of the 14 consensus federations to back the training board as part of its triennial consensus process, joining the Federation of Master Builders and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association.

Despite Build UK members voting in favour of the levy, a letter from Build UK chief executive Suzannah Nichol to the CITB called for a clear reform programme to ensure it was fit for purpose to tackle the industry’s skills challenges.

Ms Nichol’s letter included calls for stronger governance and more regular scrutiny of the body against measurable objectives, greater transparency of the body’s actions and the relinquishing of all of the CITB’s non-core functions outside of the body.

She also urged the CITB to further reform its grant system making it easier for employers to claim back grant and for the CITB to improve its communication with the industry, as well as develop better consultation processes with levy payers over its future strategies and processes.

The CITB is currently undergoing its triennial consensus vote, in which it must get support from more than half of the industry – including all consensus bodies and 6,000 non-federated firms – in order to continue to operate.

Build UK is the largest of all trade federations to vote, representing 40 per cent of the construction industry through 26 contractors and 26 trade federations.

A number of Build UK members including Mace, Bam Nuttall, Osborne and Skanska pledged their support to the body ahead of the vote, while Balfour Beatty also confirmed it would be voting to back the CITB despite intending to vote against just weeks earlier.

Nevertheless, all three have called for sweeping reforms to the training body which received £198m in 2016.

On Monday the FMB, representing construction’s small builders, called for a number of changes including greater representation for SMEs on the CITB board.

Last week, CECA put forward a “yes, but” vote, saying its members would not vote to back the CITB when the next triennial consensus review came up in three years if major changes weren’t made.

The official result of the CITB consensus is expected in October but it is understood that the direction of the vote is expected to be known before, with the remaining federations set to release their results before that time.

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