CITB lavishes millions on running costs and keeping the federations sweet

Five years ago, CITB said in its annual report:

We need to be smarter and more agile to ensure CITB is fit for purpose and to make sure we are fully focused on activities that the industry really values.

 

 

Hundreds of millions pounds of spending later, we ask how much more time do they need?

CITB has admitted the construction industry has a low opinion of its training board, and has set itself a target for just 38 per cent of the sector to see it as “credible and reputable adding value to the industry” next year. 

Looking at how CITB spends the money its raises from you through the levy, it is little wonder. Here are some of the lowlights:

Job creation scheme

CITB spent more than £17m on levy collection between 2015 and 2019. That includes levy processing costs, levy verification and levy debt collection. It must be keeping them busy at the new head office in Peterborough. But is it working for you?

Small change for CITB

CITB has spent £18m on ‘change’ in the last two financial years, according to its annual accounts. This includes a £10.8m charge to cover the cost of redundancies in 2018-19. These are eye-watering sums for the SMEs forced to pay the levy.

Notice any improvements?

Believe it or not, CITB spent £10.7m on ‘business improvement (IT)’ last year. This includes staff costs of £3.8m, maintenance contracts of £4.4m, equipment costs of £800,000, telecoms and network fees of £600,000 and other operating costs of £1.1m.

Nice work if you can get it

CITB paid more than £4.1m in grant and other grant funding to parties related to its board members last year. The levy system is clearly working well for some people. But is it working for SMEs?

Keeping them sweet

CITB relies on trade bodies to gain industry support for its levy and grant scheme. CITB handed out more than £61m in paid grants to 14 federations in the last financial year. Can these organisations provide a truly independent voice in the consensus debate?

Kerching!

CITB directors earned around £2.4m in salaries, bonuses, benefits and pensions between 2016 and 2019, according to annual accounts. CITB says ‘remuneration is reviewed with regard to external market changes’. It’s time to change this wealth creation scheme.

Last chance saloon

The Government ordered CITB to improve in 2017, demanding wide-ranging reform to make it more focused, efficient and responsive, including to small employers. Ministers promised a progress update by October 2019. It remains unpublished. Why?

Old hat

The Construction Industry Training Board dates back to 1964 when Alec Douglas-Home was Prime Minister and Herman's Hermits were at number one. Remember them? The world of work has moved on.

Time for reform

Hudson is consulting clients on an alternative model, which will reduce costs for industry, cut red tape, put more money into government coffers and, most importantly, improve outcomes for training and health and safety in the construction industry.

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