CITB Head Office Plans Branded Deeply Flawed by Unite

CITB Head Office, Bircham Newton, Norfolk

The Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) proposed move from its headquarters in Norfolk, to an unspecified site in Peterborough, has been described as deeply flawed by Unite, who have no confidence in the process.

Unite, which represents CITB staff, and management representatives has compiled a 32-page document in response to the CITB’s proposed head office move.

The workforce had originally intended to make alternative proposals. However, they found the CITB’s process to be so flawed that: “the only conclusion that can be drawn from this analysis is a vote of no confidence in the process, dissemination and accuracy of all data.”

Embarrassingly, the CITB board document reveals that the proposed move to Peterborough was in the document’s view, not the best option using the CITB’s own criteria with other towns and cities coming out more favourably.

The document, which has been presented to the CITB’s board, contains four main criticisms of the board’s proposals as it:

  • Challenges the validity, robustness and fairness of the data used
  • Registers a vote of no confidence in the data and estate design principles
  • Records a vote of no confidence in the process
  • Refutes that there has been a fair and meaningful consultation, with Peterborough being a fait accompli.

Unite regional co-ordinating officer, Mark Robinson, said: “The CITB’s plans to move from its headquarters in Bircham Newton to Peterborough have been eviscerated.

“The process has been exposed as so flawed that it is not even appropriate to make an alternative proposal. If the CITB’s board wishes to maintain an iota of credibility it must restart the process of evaluating and consulting on the options for moving the head office.”

As well as the proposed move of the head office from Bircham Newton to Peterborough the CITB is also planning to divest itself of its national construction college and intends to no longer directly provide construction training, much of which is unique.

If a private provider is not prepared to operate the training courses, the CITB has stated the provision will close. Once the CITB proposals are completed in 2020, it expects its headcount to have been slashed from 1,370 to just 484.

Mr Robinson added: “We urge the board to look at this document. Staff and management representatives have already expressed concerns about the lack of constructive and meaningful consultation regarding the head office move and fear a similar fate, if and when, the divestment of the national construction college services commences later in the year.

“It is not too late for the board to think again before it seriously damages, not only the lives of hundreds of dedicated CITB employees, but also the training so desperately required in the construction industry. The CITB needs to urgently go back and consult the industry it is supposed to represent.”

A spokesperson for the management representatives’ staff association said: “This report should have given the executive food for thought and it is hoped this report will give the CITB the opportunity to establish a truly robust process which allows industry and employees to play a constructive part in shaping an onward thinking, flexible and innovative platform for the CITB’s future.”

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