110 roles could go as CITB begins consultation with employees

Sarah Beale
Sarah Beale, chief executive, CITB

CITB has started a formal consultation with trade unions and employee representatives in a process which could see the reduction of 110 roles and the saving of £4.5 million annually.

The training body is pressing ahead with proposals to address the loss in levy income associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, with levy income set to fall by a third over three years.

CITB said the proposed changes will allow it to focus expenditure on directly supporting construction employers with their key skills, training and apprenticeships needs.

The proposals would reduce the organisation’s payroll bill by 17%. CITB said it would be cost neutral in 2020/21 if it implements proposals to change its redundancy policy announced at the start of August, thus ensuring no additional draw on levy income to fund redundancy costs.

CITB revealed the proposals are designed to protect front-line services with a proportionately greater reduction in back-office and management roles; ensure the organisation is financially sustainable and able to respond to industry’s needs; and amalgamate CITB’s two field teams – partnerships and apprenticeships – to deliver a fully joined-up service to local partners.

The proposed reduction of 110 roles is in addition to the continuing implementation of the changes in CITB’s Vision 2020 programme, which included the divestment of industry card schemes and the National Construction College.

Due to the pandemic, CITB announced a suspension of levy collection and a halving of next year’s payment – a reduction of £242.1 million in levy income over three years.

Sarah Beale, CITB chief executive said, “CITB started the year with an agreed business plan and budget, but the impact of Covid-19 has been severe. Our response – advancing apprenticeship grants and cutting Levy bills – was critical to support construction employers during the crisis. But the combination of less industry activity and lower Levy rates has reduced our forecast income over this three year period. We have to cut back our back-office and management costs to maintain a constant focus on giving construction employers the direct support that they need.

“It is deeply distressing to have to propose losing so many valued and committed colleagues. Everyone in the CITB team has really impressed me with their incredible efforts in helping the industry adapt to our changed situation and in delivering outstanding work to our customers. I would much rather not be in this position, but our duty is to support and be accountable to the construction industry and that is where we must focus.”

CITB aims to implement the proposed changes by the end of 2020. It will launch a four year strategic plan, covering 2021-25, in late September.