New bid to save CITB jobs in West Norfolk

Cranes at CITB training centre at Bircham Newton. Picture: Matthew Usher

Cranes at CITB training centre at Bircham Newton. Picture: Matthew Usher - Credit: Matthew Usher

Talks are under way to save hundreds of jobs at the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in West Norfolk.

Close to 575 staff work at the CITB headquarters in Bircham Newton but the training body is considering moving to Peterborough in a bid to meet future demands.

MORE: CITB boss says move out of Norfolk is necessary to secure its future - and job loss details could come in new year

West Norfolk council leader Brian Long said talks have already begun with CITB to see what can be done to save the hundreds of jobs at risk.

He said in the possibility of the body moving away from Norfolk, the training can be subcontracted to another educational sector, but he added the talks were still in the early stages.

He said: 'We already have dialogue with CITB at the council offices, and we are looking at the possibility of whether the training can be retained.' Mr Long said construction is not something that can be easily taught in the classroom which gives more reason for the training to remain on the already established 45-acre site in Bircham Newton, adding: 'High cranes and construction equipment is not something you can learn in a city or town, and Bircham Newton is out of the way and is self contained.

'We are looking at ways for training to still be offered at that location - contracted work from CITB and having training at Bircham Newton would be a good start.

'The dialogue is at the early stage but we are hopeful something positive can come from that.'

MORE: Prime minister backs bid to save Norfolk jobs at CITB

In the county council's business and property committee meeting earlier this month, Labour councillor Colleen Walker proposed a motion for discussions to be held in the New Year.

Amid news of hundreds of jobs being axed at Britvic in Norwich, Ms Walker said not enough is being done to save Norfolk jobs, adding: 'We are not making enough noise about it.

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'It is very important to keep it [CITB] here. I have not been given an update on it but I felt we have not discussed it enough, we need to find a solution. 'If it isn't on the agenda I will raise it somewhere, we can't leave something so important and let it fall by the wayside.'

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