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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

CITB fails to find buyers for national training centres

CITB leaders have scrapped plans to sell the National Construction Colleges (NCC) at Bircham Newton, Norfolk and Inchinnan, Glasgow after failing to find buyers.

The training body agreed the sale of its NCC at King’s Norton, Birmingham to Walsall College late last year.

The deal was part of CITB’s Vision 2020 programme to hand over direct training to alternative providers with all NCCs earmarked for sale.

But a lack of interested buyers has sparked a rethink for the Bircham Newton and Inchinnan centres while sale discussions with a training provider continue for a third NCC at Erith.

CITB said: “A key commitment (of Vision 2020) was to ensure that employers would continue to have training provision that was not readily available in the wider training market and it has not been possible to find suitable buyers for all the training businesses, particularly for specialist trades.

“CITB has had active discussions with potential buyers of these businesses for the last two years but Covid-19 has now reshaped the long-term economic landscape for everyone and meant that potential new owners were reluctant to proceed to purchase.”

Peter Lauener, Chair of CITB’s Board, said: “The Vision 2020 reforms, and other changes made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, have successfully realigned our business to make us better able to support employers investing in skills.

“CITB operates colleges which provide vital and valued training where we have not been able to find suitable buyers that could continue to deliver the scope of high quality training the industry needs.

“The continuing uncertainty is damaging for employers who need to be sure they can get their staff trained, as well as for CITB colleagues who have supported their customers and learners throughout.

“The right course of action to support industry now is to provide stability and assurance. The Board has therefore decided to retain NCC East and NCC Scotland.

“This decision gives employers and CITB colleagues confidence and clarity and enables us to plan for the future, having realised the core ambitions of reform.

“We will of course keep these businesses under close review as we do for every aspect of our operation and this might lead in due course to alterations in our approach to NCC but we have no plans at present to return to market.”

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