West Norfolk MP and council leader welcome decision over CITB Bircham Newton
The decision to keep training in-house at CITB Bircham Newton was welcomed by West Norfolk leaders after previous plans to axe over 100 jobs.
The abrupt U-turn on plans to sell the National Construction College site to another employment provider was hailed by Unite, the construction union, earlier this week after years of uncertainty for the construction industry which relies on the specialist training provided at the college.
West Norfolk's leaders spoke out over the decision, which was a major departure from earlier plans for CITB’s controversial 2020 Vision programme.
North West Norfolk MP James Wild said: "I welcome CITB's decision to retain the National Construction College and continue to provide specialist training at Bircham Newton.
"I've worked closely with CITB as they have explored other options and taking this action now gives certainty for employees and the construction industry that high quality training will continue to be available in West Norfolk."
The decision to retain the Bircham Newton site under CITB has preserved 150 jobs at the site, along with a further 75 at the Paisley site in Scotland.
Cllr Brian Long, leader of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, said: “It is excellent news that the future of the National Construction College has been secured after an extended period of uncertainty, maintaining jobs within the borough.
"The National Construction College has a long association with the area which we value. It is the foremost provider of civil engineering construction training in the country and as such is a national infrastructure asset. The college provides essential vocational and apprenticeship training to the construction sector.”
It was also good news for Constructionarium, a not-for-profit organisation which provides experiential learning to students studying built environment courses, as they continue to develop their site at Bircham Newton into a multi-disciplinary training facility.
Chief executive Julia Stevens said: “With the latest news that CITB will be continuing at Bircham Newton, we are delighted to continue our collaboration of providing the industry with exceptional work-ready employees across a range of emerging technologies and skills."