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Industry bodies may be axed as government starts to cut quangos

The skills bodies for the construction industry are set to be privatised under government plans to slash the number of quangos, according to a press report.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (EICTB) are two of four quangos that are due to be privatised, according to The Daily Telegraph last week.

The Telegraph published details of a leaked list that claimed 177 public bodies were due to be axed, privatised or reformed.

The CITB, which collects a compulsory levy from construction firms according to their wage bills and distributes it according to staff training levels, will meet ministers next week in a bid to clarify its future after reports it was to be privatised.

H&V News understands that chief executive Mark Farrar will raise the issue with construction minister Mark Prisk and education minister John Hayes at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

UK Contractors Group director Stephen Radcliffe is backing the CITB. He said: “Nothing has yet been announced by the government and we do not understand quite how ConstructionSkills as it is currently formulated could operate as a private company.”

“UKCG members have recently confirmed their support for a statutory levy system and for ConstructionSkills’ current activities.”

However, the Federation of Plastering and Drywall Contractors, which has accused the CITB of providing poor value, called for the body to be abolished.

The Federation said that its research in 2009 found that its members received only about 17 pence in grants from the CITB in return for every £1 they paid to the training body through its compulsory levy.

In response, the CITB said that its work “brings real benefits to employers in all sectors.”

 

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