Hudson calls on trade federations to hold CITB to account

Figures show £62m funding gap for levy-paying members

The leading trade federations are being urged to hold CITB to account over its levy after a Freedom of Information request by Hudson Contract revealed a huge shortfall in training grants paid out to members.

In its response, CITB said that members of the 14 main federations paid £95.1m in levies last year but received just £32.3m in grants. This represents a funding gap of £62.8m.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson, said: “The trade federations should be speaking up for their levy-paying members and asking some difficult questions of CITB about how their hard-earned money is being spent.

“We welcome the industry leadership shown by the National Federation of Builders on this issue and urge the other federations to take a stand on behalf of their members whose interests they are supposed to represent.”

In a strongly-worded opinion piece for Construction News last week, the NFB said its members “pay into the levy almost twice what they get back” and questioned who is benefiting “given they are not”.

The NFB added some organisations have become very good at navigating the levy funding system to their own advantage and are using it as part of their business model. It said “all levy funds should go to the levy payers”.

We provide professional services to a client base of 2,500 construction companies, putting us on a par with trade federations which claim to speak for the industry.

In a client survey last year, 94 per cent of respondents said they would rather Hudson represent their views on levy consultation than their trade federation or a CITB questionnaire. The levy should be scrapped outright, according to 86 per cent of respondents.

Mr Anfield added: “CITB is currently asking the trade federations and major contractors to rubber-stamp another three years of levy-raising powers. It is time for a proper debate about what the CITB spends our money on and how it is run.

“The consensus process currently under way is totally outdated, almost guaranteed to produce a ‘yes’ vote and perpetuates bad policy making because CITB’s survival will be bought by offering funding to a handful of organisations. CITB needs a major shake-up, not another review or three more years to give it more time to improve.”

You can read our survey findings in full here including some choice feedback from some of the respondents. You can also watch this video featuring straight-talking Hudson clients to confirm what the industry really thinks about CITB. It has already had more than 38,000 views on YouTube and 23,400 views on Twitter.

 

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