CITB members of the Unite union are collecting signatures for the petition at the organisation’s Bircham Newtown headquarters in Norfolk, as well as at its offices in Erith (south London), Thurmaston (East Midlands), Inchinnan (Renfrewshire) and Bridgend (Wales).
As part of a major restructuring, the CITB plans to sell the National Training College at Bircham Newton as well as its other training colleges and stop delivering training directly. Under the plan, employee head counts will fall from 1,370 to 484 by 2020.
No private provider has yet been identified to take over CITB’s training provisions. The union says that if no one comes forward then these courses will close.
Unite is also trying to rally wider industry opposition to the CITB reform plan. Regional co-ordinating officer Mark Robinson said: “The decision to sell off the CITB’s high quality training facilities is a disservice to the industry and the employers who the CITB are supposed to represent.
“Unite will be collecting names on our petition to underline the depth of feeling against the CITB’s plans to ensure that these plans to sell-off these vital services are properly examined and reversed.
“The additional proposal of closing a number of key offices including its head office in Bircham Newton, Norfolk and others around the country to centralise functions could be severely damaging not only to the hundreds of people facing redundancy or a long trip to work every day but also to industry having to work with less experienced staff.
“It is essential that the construction industry makes its voice heard and directly opposes the CITB’s plans to end direct training which has no benefit for them.”