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Wed October 27 2021

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CITB sells card scheme and outsources hundreds of jobs

29 Nov 18 The Construction Industry Training Board has agreed the sale of the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) and struck a deal to outsource 337 back-office jobs.

CITB is selling CPCS NOCN Group
CITB is selling CPCS NOCN Group

The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) is being sold to NOCN Group, an awarding organisation and registered charity. The sale will include the retention of all CPCS-related jobs in Norfolk, as well as all CPCS-related mobile roles.

NOCN bought the Cskills Awards scheme from CITB last year.

The CITB has also agreed a deal to outsource a range of functions Shared Services Connected Ltd (SSCL).

From February 2019, SSCL will take over CITB’s human resources, finance, procurement, technology & change (corporate performance) and apprenticeship processing functions, as well as certain customer operations.

The restructuring of operations is part of CITB’s Vision 2020 programme to get out of training delivery and become a facilitator.

CITB staff in affected teams may be eligible to have their employment transferred under TUPE regulations to SSCL and others could be retained by CITB. Affected employees are currently based in offices in Bircham Newton, London, Thurmaston, Bridgend, and Inchinnan. Some are also mobile workers. CITB expects the majority of the 337 employees across the impacted teams will transfer to SSCL as part of these arrangements.

However, there has been no confirmation of where the work will be based. Currently SSCL does not have any premises in northwest Norfolk near Bircham Newton or at the CITB’s other existing satellite sites.

SSCL is a joint venture between the UK Cabinet Office and French IT consultant Sopra Steria. It also provides back office administration for the Environment Agency and the Department for Work & Pensions.

The transition of CPCS to NOCN Group is expected to happen in two phases, with completion by August 2019, subject to all parties being ready.

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The CPCS provides skills cards to individual workers involved in the plant sector of the construction and allied industries. Each card provides identification and recognises the competence and qualifications of the individual holder. The scheme maintains health, safety and environmental standards through a programme of testing to prove workers comply with minimum standards.

CITB will remain part of the CPCS management committee and NOCN group board, to retain an influence on the scheme.

NOCN Group managing director Graham Hasting-Evans said: “With this acquisition, NOCN Group continues to build its education and skills investment in the construction sector. NOCN has successfully integrated Cskills Awards to become the premium construction qualifications brand, now it welcomes CPCS into the group to widen its product range further. This will give the plant industry a single organisation to go to for its skills needs, increasing the speed and cost effectiveness of the journey into work. We will retain the CPCS business in Norfolk to ensure continuity, keeping jobs local and protecting livelihoods.”

Of the SSCL outsourcing deal, CITB chief executive Sarah Beale said: “Partnerships are at the heart of our Vision 2020 strategy, so that we can achieve more for our industry and modernise our business.

“SSCL is an industry leader in delivering core services to organisations that are similar to CITB. Our new partnership will modernise our systems and bring the latest innovations in service to our customers.

“This next phase of CITB’s modernisation is being delivered on time and as promised to British construction and the government. It will allow CITB to focus on our priorities and become a leaner, more agile organisation that delivers the skills needed by British construction.

“We do not underestimate the impact that this will have on our colleagues, who are incredibly talented and committed. I see the fantastic work they do every day, and this decision to outsource is in no way a reflection on their skills and abilities.

“SSCL’s commitment to staff care and development was an important factor when we were looking at this partnership. We will be working closely in the coming weeks to support CITB colleagues affected by these changes.”

SSCL chief executive John Neilson said: “SSCL has a track record of successful large-scale transformation and delivers digital and technology services to the public sector enabling public sector clients to benefit from efficiency savings; and we look forward to working with CITB to achieve its Vision 2020 programme of reform to fulfil their role supporting British construction.”

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