CITB outsources 337 jobs and sells card scheme as restructure gathers pace
© Stephen Shepherd
The jobs of more than 330 staff at the Construction Industry Training Board have been secured after it agreed a deal to outsource many of its services.
The sale is part of a large-scale restructuring of the CITB, which it calls Vision 2020, as it moves away from hands-on training and administration for the construction industry and into a role in which it directs other organisations.
It has agreed a deal with Shared Services Connected Ltd (SSCL) to hand over from February 2019 certain back-office functions including HR, finance, procurement, technology and corporate performance, apprenticeship processing and some customer operations.
The CITB says that the majority of the 337 workers affected – who are in offices in Bircham Newton in Norfolk, London, Thurmaston in Leicestershire, Bridgend in south Wales, and Inchinnan near Glasgow – will be transferred to SSCL under the arrangements.
A contract with SSCL is expected to be signed in early December, and services will then be moved across in phases.
CITB chief executive Sarah Beale said the move would help to “modernise” the CITB and that it would work with affected staff closely.
“We do not underestimate the impact that this will have on our colleagues, who are incredibly talented and committed. I see the fantastic work they do every day, and this decision to outsource is in no way a reflection on their skills and abilities.
“SSCL’s commitment to staff care and development was an important factor when we were looking at this partnership.”
John Neilson, chief executive of SSCL, said: “SSCL will deliver a wide range of business support services to CITB from February 2019. In that process, we remain deeply committed to working with CITB colleagues to ease the transition to the new ways of working.”
The CITB’s Vision 2020 will see its head office move from Bircham Newton, where it employs 575 people, to Peterborough, and cut staff numbers from 1,370 to around 560 between 2018 and 2021 by outsourcing services.
SSCL is a joint venture between the UK Cabinet Office and Sopra Steria and has worked with some of the UK’s largest public bodies, including the Environment Agency and Department for Work and Pensions.
The CITB says the changes will help it to achieve the right training mix, high standards and quality assurance in the construction industry, and to rebuild employer confidence in the market.
Card scheme sold
The CITB has also sold its Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) to NOCN Group, one of the sector’s largest awarding organisations.
The sale will mean all CPCS-related jobs in Norfolk will stay in the county and all mobile roles will be secured.
The CPCS provides skills cards to individual workers involved in the plant sector of the construction industries, serving as identification and proof of their qualifications.
Braden Connolly, the CITB’s director of products and services, said: “Card schemes will continue to play an important role in demonstrating workforce competence and by stepping away from direct delivery, we remove any conflict of interest. CITB will evolve to oversee and ensure standards are maintained, targeting funding to meet current and future skills needs.
“We already have a successful relationship with NOCN Group – having sold our Cskills Awards to them last August – so we are delighted that NOCN Group will continue the CPCS.”
The two-phase transition is expected to be completed by August 2019.