Unite condemns outsourcing plans at the CITB
The trade union, Unite, has denounced plans by the Construction Industry Training Board to outsource 337 jobs as the "beginning of the end of the CITB".
The CITB board has announced that workers undertaking roles including: human resources, finance, procurement, technology and change (corporate performance), apprenticeship processing, and some customer operations roles will be transferred to Shared Service Connected Ltd (SSCL) in February next year.
However, there has been no confirmation of where the work will be based. Currently SSCL does not have any premises in West Norfolk near the CITB’s current headquarters in Bircham Newton or at the CITB’s other existing satellite sites.
If the outsourced jobs are based at a location a significant distance away from the CITB’s current headquarters then Unite believes that the CITB is, in reality, outsourcing a massive redundancy programme.
As part of its Vision 2020 programme (announced in November 2017), the CITB is also committed to moving its headquarters to an unspecified location in the Peterborough area. The CITB will also no longer provide direct training, however a new provider has yet been identified.
Unite regional co-ordinating officer Mark Robinson said: “Unite will ensure that our members affected by the outsourcing announcement have their terms and conditions fully protected.
“However, this announcement effectively marks the beginning of the end of the organisation. It is deeply troubling that CITB is determined to surrender control of key functions, such as HR and finance.
“Unite will also be strongly making the case to both the CITB and SSCL that workers need to be based in their current vicinity, which for the majority of the affected workforce means close to the current Bircham Newton headquarters. Most of the affected workforce live locally and will be unable and unwilling to move further afield.
“For the remaining workers huge uncertainty remains as a year after the CITB announced its plans the board still has not revealed a new headquarters.
“Meanwhile, while they have said that the CITB will no longer provide direct training, the silence has been deafening on announcing who will undertake this work.”
The announcement yesterday about SSCL came at the same time as the CITB said it was outsourcing its Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) to NOCN Group, one of the sector’s largest Awarding Organisations.
NOCN, which has a regional office at the KLIC in South Lynn, will be dealing with awarding skills cards to individual workers involved in the plant sector of the construction and allied industries.
Each card provides identification and recognises the competence and qualifications of the individual holder. .
Sir Henry Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk, told the Lynn News said he gave a cautious welcome to the news about NOCN.
He said: “They have a base at the KLIC so that is a good news story for West Norfolk.”
He said he had held a meeting with senior management at CITB recently and added: “My really strong plea to them is that they keep some sort of satellite office at Bircham in the future as part of a development masterplan.”