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CSCS leadership crisis continues

The ongoing crisis at the ConstructionSkills Certification Scheme will not be resolved until well into the autumn as stakeholders struggle to agree a succession plan for embattled chairman Trevor Walker.

Employer groups - which failed to oust Mr Walker via a no-confidence vote in August - are expected to meet trade unions in October following the annual trade union congress and political party conferences.

An agreement between the four employer groups and three union board representatives would tip the balance in favour of ousting Mr Walker.

The unions had backed Mr Walker at an initial vote due to the lack of a succession plan, CN understands. But a source told CN there was “positive engagement
behind the scenes”, raising hopes the matter could be resolved at the upcoming meeting.

A decision over a successor to Mr Walker could depend on finding a candidate capable of building bridges with CITBConstructionSkills, which administers the scheme.

CSkills put its contract with CSCS on notice earlier this year after a dispute over commercial differences. But the deal still has five years to run, meaning a new chairman could help reconcile the organisations.

One source close to the dispute said: “Getting CITB back on board is a major part of it. There are also issues to be resolved with the broader agenda of CSCS.”

Concerns have been raised that the split could lead to the establishment of a rival scheme.

At a board meeting in August the four employer groups - including the UK Contractors Group, National Specialist Contractors Council, Civil Engineering Contractors Association and Federation of Master Builders - voted to oust Mr Walker in a vote of no confidence.

Professional bodies’ representative the Construction Industry Council also backed the motion. But the three union representatives, employers’ representative and Mr Walker voted against, leading to a tie.

Mr Walker retained his post at the helm of the 1.6 millionmember card scheme despite concerns over governance.

The employer groups have since refused to work with CSCS until Mr Walker is replaced, leaving the scheme in limbo.

Outgoing CSCS chief executive Brian Adams told CN he was confident the owners of CSCS would agree on a way forward.

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