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Housebuilding sector votes against CITB

3 October 2017

UK housebuilders have voted to reject the continuation of the CITB with 89% of Home Builders Federation (HBF) members voting against renewing the body for another three years. 

The HBF has declared “no confidence” in the current set-up, saying that frustration with CITB bureaucracy has been increasing within the housebuilding industry for some years, and the introduction of the government’s apprenticeship levy means that many companies are being taxed twice for skills provision.

HBF’s larger members complain of having to employ staff specifically to claw back only a fraction of the money paid through their own levy payments from CITB for training. Smaller members don’t have the capacity to do this so they miss out.

These frustrations have been compounded by CITB’s proposal to focus more narrowly on “core construction” skills, meaning that while housebuilders will pay levy in respect of their whole workforce they risk being able to obtain support for a smaller proportion of their workers than they do now, the HBF says.

HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley said: “The vote demonstrates the frustrations housebuilders feel with CITB and the training regime currently in place. The industry simply does not feel that CITB is providing the support and framework it needs to train its staff despite the huge amounts being paid in levy by home builders.

“Housebuilders desperately need a training body focused on its requirements with which it can work closely to develop training regimes that are easily accessible to companies large and small. We hope this will be the wake-up call CITB needs to drive root and branch change through its entire organisation.

“If we are to develop the capacity to build the high-quality homes the country desperately needs, the industry must recruit and train more people. The launch of our Home Building Skills Pledge is a clear demonstration of the industry’s commitment to investing in its training needs now and in the future.” 

The HBF rejection of the CITB follows the news that the trade body for fit out specialists, the Finishes & Interiors Sector (FIS), has also rejected the current CITB levy proposal.

The Scottish Building Federation (SBF) and the Scottish Decorators’ Federation (SDF) have also voted against the training board.

However, the CITB is likely to achieve the 50% it needs to survive the current Consensus process after Build UK, which represents in excess of 40% of the construction industry, approved the proposal last week.

Comments

At last, a call for the individual industry types to be separated, and training to be tailored to suit. They are such different industries which are generally labeled as "Construction" but they are worlds apart. It is certainly time that we started to focus on the requirements of the construction industry, and the skills requirement instead of generalising, all we have to do now is make construction sexy again, and get young people involved, not sure how that is going to happen though?

Andy Chambers, 3 October 2017

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