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Sun June 20 2021

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Hudson Contract keeps up anti-CITB campaign

9 Jun 20 A survey by a payroll services provider conducted as part of its long-running feud against the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has found that most of its customers agree with its opinions.

Hudson Contract managing director Ian Anfield
Hudson Contract managing director Ian Anfield

Hudson Contract has long been unhappy that courts rule it to be liable to pay the CITB training levy and the Construction Industry Training Board, because under current employment lay it is technically the employer of those 2,200 freelance workers whose books it looks after. Its campaign against the CITB has got quite unsavoury at times.

In January this year Hudson Contract launched its own customer survey, to run in parallel with the CITB’s statutory periodic survey, also due this year.

Hudson Contract’s survey found that 87% of respondents want to scrap direct funding of CITB.

Hudson Contract reckons that the CITB could save “hundreds of millions of pounds” if the levy was collected not by the CITB itself but by HM Revenue & Customs, like the apprentice levy. (The CITB spent £17m on levy collection between 2015 and 2019.)

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Managing director Ian Anfield said: “It is strikingly clear from our survey that a vast majority of construction SMEs see no point in CITB and get no value from its levy and grant scheme. 

“The fact that most companies deliver their own training activities regardless of CITB underlines the irrelevance of the quango in a modern economy. We are calling for wide-ranging reform and are proud to provide SMEs with a trusted voice in this important debate about the development of skills in our industry.”

CITB head of policy & external affairs Mike Hobday responded: “Hudson’s action plan gives the game away: they’re not focussing on the needs of SMEs but trying to avoid their own debt of £27.4m. If they paid the money owed in levy, more support would be allocated to micro, small and medium-sized employers, including through training funds.”

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