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Housing minister visits CITB headquarters to hear proposals to cut jobs and relocate

PUBLISHED: 17:14 11 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:14 11 May 2018

The National Construction College at Bircham Newton. Picture: Ian Burt

The National Construction College at Bircham Newton. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

The housing minister has met with senior executives at the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to discuss its restructure which would see it moves its headquarters out of the region and axing hundreds of jobs.

Housing Minister Dominic Raab MP speaking with (L) construction manager Michael Saunders. Picture: Ian BurtHousing Minister Dominic Raab MP speaking with (L) construction manager Michael Saunders. Picture: Ian Burt

Dominic Raab met CITB chief executive Sarah Beale, policy director Steve Radley and industry relations director Mark Noonan at the organisation’s Bircham Newton base in West Norfolk.

The executives laid out their vision to divest the CITB of training and non-core activities, which would involve cutting 800 jobs over three years.

The body has also proposed to move its headquarters to Peterborough, with a consultation set to close on May 25.

Mr Raab was accompanied by North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham who is campaigning to keep the CITB’s headquarters in Norfolk.

He said he thought it was important the minister saw the site’s qualities and added he was lobbying the minister hard.

Sir Henry said: “The minister has been heavily lobbied by myself and I think to go to Bircham and see the recently renovated offices, the canteen and the qualities there, the lovely countryside. It is completely different to a city centre location and workers are going to be more productive and have better job satisfaction there.”

He added Mr Raab had requested to be given a copy of his submission to the CITB’s consultation and that he would be meeting with all three ministers concerned in the decision in the coming weeks.

The CITB has said the move away from training provision is necessary for it to focus on improving skills in the construction sector. Under the proposals another training provider will take on the contract and Sir Henry said he was keen for the CITB to be involved in supporting that work.

Ms Beale said: “We were pleased the housing minister took the time to visit CITB and hear about our plans to deliver the skills to build a better Britain.

“Today was an opportunity for CITB to demonstrate to Dominic Raab how a reformed CITB, that has the confidence of the industry, will be vital to supporting the delivery of the homes we need.”

The CITB employs 575 people in Bircham Newton and has said it will outsource back office functions from 2019.


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