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Thu November 26 2020

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CITB staff face more pain

7 Aug Financial difficulties at the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) mean that employees will not be getting the pay rise they had been expecting this year.

CITB is planning a range of new cost-cutting measures to adjust to its reduced income, post Covid. The measures follow the decision in June to cut levy bills by 25% across the next two years – an income reduction of £166m.

It looks like more job losses will also follow. CITB says that it is reviewing the structure and size of the organisation and will be putting its proposals to staff “in the coming weeks”.

Due to the reduced income, CITB says that it is no longer able to apply the previously planned pay increase this year and has confirmed that no performance bonus payments will be made in 2021. Other cost-cutting measures have included the executive team taking voluntary 20% pay cuts and other colleagues also volunteering pay cuts or reduced hours. Half of staff have been on furlough.

CITB has also set out a proposal to change its redundancy policy, which it says is “no longer appropriate”. A new proposal was discussed yesterday by CITB with unions and staff representatives, with a decision to follow the completion of consultations.

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Jennifer King, people director at CITB, said: “Our decision to cut the levy was absolutely the right one so that we can help ease the cashflow burden on employers and invest in training.  We need to do all we can with reduced funding to protect apprenticeships and direct funding to businesses. That does mean we need to get CITB’s finances in a stronger position, reducing our own costs and streamlining our business, ensuring we can meet the new skills challenges our industry faces.

“The truth is that given the very challenging economic climate we, like so many others, cannot simply carry on with business as usual and need to react quickly. That means making difficult choices, but they are always made with fairness and affordability at heart, and our brilliant colleagues and construction employers in mind.”

CITB is already going through a major down-sizing operation. In 2015 it had 1,459 employees. By 2018 this was reduced to 1,266, when CITB revealed a three-year plan to get it down to less than 400 by 2021. Current staffing levels are at around 800, with a further reduction of 190 to come as CITB completes its divestment of training provision.

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