26 October 2021

‘Time to reconstruct CITB’ says National Federation of Builders

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has today launched a paper, representing the views of its members, aiming to spark an industry and Government-wide debate about the future of CITB.

The paper lays out how a fundamental restructuring of the organisation could take place and proposes sweeping changes to ensure better, more efficient, more accountable, more focused and more successful delivery of skills and training outcomes.

Key recommendations include:

  • Creation of a new construction careers body
  • Fundamental reform of Levy including stripping CITB of Levy raising powers
  • Removal of the grants system and corresponding reduction in Levy
  • Delivering apprenticeship and qualification financial incentives through Government
  • Retaining a residual CITB to focus on work as the Sector Skills Council
  • Redeploying local advisors through Employment and Skills Boards
  • Ending CITB projects and programmes
  • Changing CITB’s status and submitting the organisation to competitive tender

‘Reconstructing CITB’ is the culmination of two years of consultation, right up to and including the NFB’s CITB consensus process. It aims to set the tone of debate and provide a blueprint for reform ahead of a formal ITB review by the Government, expected sometime next year.

The report begins by outlining the industry’s verdict on CITB, as reported in its own annual reports: that the majority of construction employers asked do not see CITB as adding value to the industry, do not believe that the labour market meets industry’s needs and do not think that they can access the training they need when they need it. A situation that has worsened, by CITB’s own measures, for the past three years.

The NFB has said that while its members overwhelmingly support the aims and objectives of the CITB, as well as the principle of a cross-industry approach at skills and training delivery, including a Levy system, its members do not have confidence in the current organisation’s ability to deliver.

Commenting, Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the NFB said:

“As a member-led organisation we have lobbied for years for the CITB to reform from within. Our members have finally come to the conclusion that is no longer a viable option and that CITB needs a fundamental reorganisation. Only the Government will be able to deliver that, so we are launching this paper to spark a serious and wide-ranging debate about how we mobilise to get this done. I’m calling on all those who pay CITB Levy to join us in this fight. It’s time to reconstruct CITB.”

Herman Kok, Company Secretary of the Lindum Group, and chair of the NFB Skills and Training subgroup who authored the paper added:

“Many employers will feel, like I do, that the CITB Consensus process is disingenuous and doesn’t give us the opportunity to issue our verdict on the failing CITB – we support the principle of a cross-industry approach, just not the organisation tasked with delivering it. As an employee-owned organisation and a chair of an independent training group, I know as well as most the incredible value of training. What I cannot support is continuing to look the other way on an organisation that simply cannot deliver on its core mission – it is time we think outside the box, do the construction industry the justice of being truly creative and transformative, and open a proper debate about the tools we need to attract, retain, champion and upskill our people”.

The report ‘Reconstructing CITB, The NFB View of CITB: A New Way Forward for Skills and Training Deliver’, is available to all:

 

Download Full Paper

If you would like to get involved and find out more information, contact membershipservices@builders.org.uk or call 03450 578 160

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