Peterborough is chosen as location for national skills organisation's head office

The skills agency for the construction industry is to open its head office in Peterborough.
The skills agency for the construction industry is to open its head office in Peterborough.
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The national organisation responsible for improving skills in the construction industry is to move its head office to Peterborough.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has announced it is to seek premises in Peterborough for its new head office in an effort to bring customers and colleagues closer together.

CITB chief executive Sarah Beale

CITB chief executive Sarah Beale

The agency hopes it will be able to sign a lease later this year with the move completed by January 2020.

The move will bring together some functions from its operations from across 11 sites in the UK including its training centre on a former RAF site in Bircham Newton in Norfolk where it has been since 1966.

Consultations have begun with unions and staff about the proposed move in a bid to reduce the number of redundancies.

The CITB employs a total of 1,370 people and it is estimated that about 133 jobs will be impacted by the plans.

A CITB spokesman said Peterborough was the preferred location because it is a diverse city with a strong talent pool, a generous supply of modern, sustainable office facilities, supported by excellent road and rail transport links.

Chief executive Sarah Beale said: “This is a necessary step for CITB.

“For a number of us who work at CITB, this change will be a challenge as well as an opportunity.

"Peterborough was selected as the preferred location with colleagues, as well as customers, in mind as it offers the greatest potential to reduce redundancies, therefore retaining some talented colleagues, whilst meeting our future needs.

"British construction firms pay their levy and rightly expect high-quality skills as a result. The creation of a single head office will bring us closer to our customers and create the right environment to ensure that CITB delivers the ‘levy in, skills out’ focus that industry and Government have demanded.

"As a GB-wide organisation, it is vital that we are better connected to our customers so that we can reach important partners – including construction firms – more easily providing a flexible workspace which can accommodate a highly mobile workforce.

"Our new head office will also be designed to suit the size and mission of the organisation that CITB will become."

Peter Lauener, chair of CITB, said: “CITB has embarked on a radical transformation programme which will deliver the skills British construction needs.

"To do this, we will need to become a more flexible, dynamic organisation, working in partnership with employers in all parts of Great Britain and setting the standards for future skills.

“Part of that change will mean establishing a new head office in a more central location such as Peterborough where access to other parts of GB will be easier.

“Meanwhile Sarah Beale and I are committed to doing everything we can to maximise the development of the CITB’s site in Bircham Newton and thereby leave a lasting legacy for the local community and the economy of North Norfolk.”