The CITB is to close down its services and products at all international training centres to focus on key skills needs in Great Britain.

base The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) says on its website that it has been,
“Supporting major contractors, training providers and individuals globally for over 45 years,” that global support looks like it is coming to an end, and quickly at that.

We were made aware of the contents of a private letter that went out from the CITB in August stating that as part of its regular programme of review the CITB had concluded that it should close its provision of products and support to some or all of its international centres.

We understand the letter went on to acknowledge the uncertainty this announcement would bring and said it would be able to communicate the review’s outcome by September 1, 2016. In the meantime, we understand centres likely to be affected were advised that until the outcome of the review was concluded the CITB would not progress applications for renewal or for additional recognition, licensing, accreditation or training support.

This move from the CITB has likely come as a shock to centres affected and we asked the CITB for a statement. Amanda Sergeant, head of delivery transition at CITB, said, “We have recently reviewed our international business as part of our change programme. The review concluded that CITB should close its provision of products and services internationally and focus on key skills needs in Great Britain.”

Sergeant confirmed that training providers had been informed of the CITB’s decision and that the letter of September 1 would explain what is happening in more detail.

“These changes will help CITB improve, become more efficient and be better able to meet the core skills needs of the construction industry in Great Britain,” said Sergeant.

The Reaction..

We reached out to some international training centres for their reaction to this shocking news.

Fiona Sennett Operations Manager at 48.3 International said: “The whole of the international fraternity of scaffolding and working at height specialists have been surprised that the CITB are withdrawing a profitable service that has been in place, promoting the highest British standards in this industry all over the world, for 45 years.  The CITB Scheme has been adopted by many countries and considered the market leader by most major clients – we have been actively promoting the CITB scheme since our inception.”

“It is disappointing that there were no consultations with CITB clients across the world prior to the decision being made, and no reasonable explanation from the CITB as to why the scheme is closing on 31 December 2016.”

“At 48.3 International we are very optimistic for the future following this announcement, as we are committed to our philosophy of “Safeguarding Lives Through Industry Education” – our dedication to the legacy of co-founder Terry Sennett.”

“We are fortunate to have our own competency assessed scheme that has been developed by the late Terry Sennett, Ben Beaumont and Steve Gregory to service the overseas market with industry and product specific training. Because of our ability to apply UK best practice to local challenges within the scheme, it has been in very high demand from our International clients.”

“We listen to all our clients needs in this market and believe that we offer the most flexible and client specific training in the world rather than making the world fit into a UK specific training program.”

Joint MD at Safety & Access Rick Statham commented: “We have provided CISRS training international for many years and have a total of six accredited centres worldwide. We are aware that CITB have signalled their intention to withdraw from the international scaffold training market. Our main concern would be the potential disadvantage to learners that have CITB qualifications that will eventually expire as many of these people will have funded the training themselves and will require these for ongoing employment.”

“As CISRS are a forward thinking organisation I’m confident that they will explore agreeable solutions to enable genuine candidates progress within the CISRS overseas scheme. Many organisations and individuals outside of the U.K. have wrongly assumed for years that this was the authentic UK scheme whilst of course the UK based CISRS scheme is the original and widely accepted training route. We expect there to be more clarity from CITB in the coming weeks and days regarding their exit strategy.”