Search

Debate at Westminster Hall hoped to shine ‘powerful spotlight’ on plans to close CITB’s Norfolk head office

PUBLISHED: 11:27 17 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:27 17 July 2018

An aerial view of the National Construction College at Bircham Newton, operated by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). Picture: Stephen Shepherd/CITB.

An aerial view of the National Construction College at Bircham Newton, operated by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). Picture: Stephen Shepherd/CITB.

© Stephen Shepherd

One of the country’s largest unions is today welcoming a Parliamentary debate which aims to shine a spotlight on plans to close a training board’s Norfolk head office.

CITB  (Construction Industry Training Board) 2003. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARYCITB (Construction Industry Training Board) 2003. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) announced proposals earlier this month to close its head office in Bircham Newton, near Fakenham, in favour of a new base in Peterborough.

Relocating could see up to 136 staff lose their jobs.

The union Unite said it welcomed the debate, which takes place at Westminster Hall today, July 17.

Unite regional coordinating officer Mark Robinson said: “We hope today’s Westminster Hall debate throws a powerful spotlight on the shameful plan to close the Construction Industry Training Board’s HQ at Bircham Newton in Norfolk for no sound economic reason.

“Up to 136 jobs of hardworking staff are on the line which will be a severe blow for the local Norfolk economy which can’t afford to lose such skilled jobs.

“This is a betrayal that will fragment training and cause problems for the UK’s construction training programme at a challenging economic time with Brexit looming.

“The rationale seems to be based on unblinking dogma by an uncaring management and not on financial common sense.

“This proposal should be stopped for mature reconsideration.”

Mr Robinson added that at Unite’s meeting with the board on July 3 it was made clear that there was no realistic intention of considering any staff proposal of keeping its head office functions at Bircham Newton or indeed anywhere in Norfolk as it fails to meet one of its key criteria of “being in a central location”.

It is understood that the CITB bosses are considering a yet-to-be identified site in Peterborough as the preferred option.

Unite is now preparing a document highlighting the view that the staff representatives do not consider this consultation as being “meaningful” before the next meeting with the CITB in London on Monday July 23.

The CITB has already said that it will no longer directly provide its unique construction courses and will seek to outsource this work. If no private provider is found, the training could close.

Today’s debate had been initiated by North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham.

Education minister Ann Milton has conceded that the CITB’s plans “will be a significant challenge”.

Other News

16:09

One Great Yarmouth home has fully embraced the Christmas spirit this year, all in the name of a good cause.

14:28

The heart of two communities shone through as well-wishers - including an MP - rushed to help people injured in two serious falls.

12:00

The future of Great Yarmouth is bright, according to council bosses leading the transformation charge in the borough.

Drivers are being forced to pay a “stealth tax”, it has been claimed, after it was revealed car owners in Norwich paid £74 on average last year to park their cars.

Most Read

Fri, 12:40

Taco Bell has opened its doors in Great Yarmouth for the first time after a surprise early opening, much to the delight of fans of the Tex-Mex fast food chain.

Read more
United States
Mon, 16:52

A care home where mattresses were getting soaked through to the base with urine has been put into special measures.

Read more
Care Quality Commission
Thu, 08:02

A parent who was “frightening” children by wearing a face mask outside of a Norfolk secondary school has been captured having a heated argument with a police officer after he refused to remove it.

Read more
Lynn Grove Academy
Wed, 07:03

A former American diner’s £350,000 transformation could help to improve the reputation of one of Great Yarmouth’s main urban thoroughfares.

Read more
Mon, 09:14

Witnesses are being sought after a teenage girl was punched in the face in Gorleston High Street.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 0°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy