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Ofsted verdict welcomed in CITB campaign

GV CITB Bircham Norflk.
GV CITB Bircham Norflk.

An inspection report praising the apprenticeships offered by the Construction Industry Training Boad (CITB) shows it should not close its West Norfolk base, the area’s MP says.

The organisation has been given an outstanding rating by Ofsted, just two weeks after it announced plans to quit its Bircham Newton headquarters.

The CITB has insisted the move is necessary to modernise its operations.

But North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said the findings, which followed a two-day assessment in October, showed bosses should think again.

He said: “It’s very good news. It greatly reinforces the argument for staying at Bircham.”

The report said the CITB performed “exceptionally well” in working with colleges to provide programmes that meet local, regional and national priorities.

It added: “The very large majority of apprentices rapidly gain high-quality practical skills. They significantly improve their confidence and knowledge of the construction industry through gaining a broad mix of qualifications.”

Gillian Cain, the CITB’s head of apprenticeships, said: “We are extremely proud to receive this ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted. The consistently positive views of learners and employers were brilliant to see, and a fantastic endorsement of what we do.”

“We must continue to work with industry to ensure the development of further modern methods of construction training

But industry leaders say more still needs to be done to train enough of the professionals the industry needs.

A new survey from the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors said 44 per cent of respondents were experiencing a shortage of workers with specific trade skills.

Senior economist Jeffrey Matsu said: “Challenges related to an inadequate supply of skilled labour are as pronounced as ever.”

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