Build UK ‘yes vote’ secures CITB levy

The country’s biggest trade umbrella body has voted yes to backing the CITB training levy putting the skills body on track to secure over 50% of the industry’s vote needed for its survival.

Like other trade bodies backing the levy, Build UK has qualified the results calling for reforms to overhaul the CITB.

The final outcome of the industry levy vote will not be officially known until late October, after weightings have been added to the mix of trade association and individual levy payer votes gathered.

But Build UK members are understood to account for around a quarter of all levy collected giving the body a powerful block vote.

The Build UK poll involving 26 main contractors and 26 trade associations – each with one vote – overwhelmingly supported the levy, with just one trade body and one contractor voting against.

It is a key result for the CITB on the eve of tomorrow’s voting deadline. So far heavyweight trade bodies, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association and the Federation of Master Builders – by a slim majority of one – have also backed the levy for another three years.

Although not formally declared, the Home Builders Federation is expected to vote against the levy.

The CITB needs to win more than 50% of the construction vote in terms of numbers of levy payers and value of the levy paid.

In terms of value of levy paid the trade federations make up 59% of the vote and 35% in terms of numbers.

The voting balance in each case will be made up of individual firms.

In a letter to the CITB, Build UK chief Suzannah Nichol called for a clear reform programme on four fronts.

Called for reforms

Strategic direction

a) A clear plan with specific measurable objectives to support employers in recruiting, training and retaining the workforce the industry needs now, and in the future
b) A focus on core activities with CITB relinquishing non-core activities to those better placed to deliver them
c) A principle of Levy in Skills out with grant funds being used to deliver the skills employers require now and in the future

Governance

a) A review of CITB’s governance arrangements enabling industry to contribute to the direction and delivery of the strategic plan including:

  • Appropriate industry representation on the CITB Board and Council
  • A rationalisation of the number of CITB Committees and Working Groups and each to have agreed Terms of Reference and objectives o Measurable outcomes and objectives that are regularly reported against
  • Visibility and accountability of CITB board members, trustees and the executive

Funding

a) A grant scheme that incentivises and delivers the skills required by employers
b) Recognition of high quality and consistent training provision
c) A flexible and user-friendly means of claiming grants
d) An effective and focused use of funding to support short and long-term skills needs

Communication

a) Effective and timely information to employers
b) Sufficient consultation with levy payers on both strategy and process related issues
c) Transparent and consistent messaging across the industry

The National Federation of Builders has also backed the CITB for another three years.

Around 60% of the federation’s levy-paying members backed the skills body in its survival vote.

But small and medium sized contractors are also calling for radical reforms of the CITB.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “It’s unfortunate that this vote comes before we’ve had a chance to see whether CITB’s reforms have benefited the industry.

“These reforms need to continue to ensure future support.”

 

Written by Aaron Morby of Construction Enquirer

29th September 2017

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