CITB will keep head office at Bircham Newton until December 2019 – but confirms it will move

An aerial view of the National Construction College at Bircham Newton, operated by the Construction

An aerial view of the National Construction College at Bircham Newton, operated by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). Picture: Stephen Shepherd/CITB. - Credit: Stephen Shepherd photographer Â

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) will remain at its head office in west Norfolk until the end of 2019, it has announced.

The training provider said it has listened to concerns raised at a recent roundtable meeting with councils and industry figures, and believes that keeping its base at Bircham Newton until the end of next year will help it achieve a better sale of the training college and influence the future of the site.

But it confirmed its intention is still to leave in favour of a new head office, with Peterborough the preferred option, and said consultation over the detailed plans – and how many jobs would be affected – would begin later this month.

The changes are being made as the statutory body responds to demands from the industry to become leaner and more efficient. Its Vision 2020 plans will see it stop directly delivering training at the National Construction College at Bircham Newton, outsource certain back-office functions and relocate its 575-strong head office.

READ MORE: Jobs could be at risk as construction body eyes up move out of West NorfolkEmployer CITB board member Maria Pilfold said: 'After careful consideration at our board meeting, we decided to a maintain presence at Bircham Newton no later than the end of 2019, recognising a small number of roles which may be needed to oversee final exit arrangements or development.

'CITB will keep its promise to industry to reform, moving to a new single head office site in 2020 which is a crucial element of our proposals. This decision offers further clarity to CITB colleagues and will enable the business to start formal consultations with employees in the near future.'

Independent CITB board member Diana Garnham said: 'Our change programme has been planned to meet the expectations of both the construction industry and government, who have been clear that the status quo is not an option.'

READ MORE: What is happening at the CITB?

The CITB expects the sale of the training college to begin this summer, with the remainder of the site then taken to market.

It will introduce its new training model and grant scheme next month, with the aim of making it easier for SMEs to get training grants.

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The organisation will also release its outsourcing tender later this month, detailing the work which it will contract out, so that agreements can be in place by the end of this year.