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Unite members petition CITB to save construction skills in Scotland

Representatives from Unite – the UK’s biggest union – employed by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) have called for the reversal of a decision that would effectively end unique construction skills training in Scotland.

The CITB’s current business plan – labelled “controversial” by Unite – involves the withdrawal of direct specialist construction training services, which would instead be outsourced to a private provider.

According to Unite, this move may jeopardize up to 100 jobs at the National Construction College in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire. Should a private provider take up specialist training provision on behalf of the CITB, there’s no guarantee that the Inchinnan site would remain in operation. Worse still, there will be absolutely no provision for specialist construction training in Scotland if a private provider cannot be found.

Now, the Inchinnan workforce has launched a petition to put the pressure on Peter Leuner, newly appointed Chair of the CITB – considered by many to be a champion of construction apprenticeships.

“The CITB’s decision to divest themselves of training has enormous implications,” said David McGurk, Regional Officer at Unite. “Selling the National Construction College at Inchinnan to a private provider could signal the end of apprentice training in specialist trades in Scotland. A private provider will simply not be willing or able to absorb potential financial losses.

“The Inchinnan facility is a high value, permanently full training centre that provides quality training for the construction industry in Scotland. The decision to sell off Inchinnan, is a disservice to industry and the employers who the CITB are supposed to represent.

“The proposed sell-off has no tangible benefit for anyone. Peter Lauener the new CITB chair needs to get a grip of his organisation, reverse the process and save the CITB’s specialist training in Scotland.”

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