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19/07/2017

Government responds to Farmer Review

Words: Laura Edgar
Construction / iStock_000010378707

The government has issued its response to the Farmer Review, stating that the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) should be retained, but that it should be reformed.

The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model suggests that Britain’s construction industry faces a “long-term and inexorable decline” if how it operates and delivers is not addressed.

It states that the CITB should be comprehensively reviewed and a reform programme instituted. It should include a new mandate to properly fund and drive forward both appropriate skills development and innovate to suit a modern progressive industry.

Last year, the government launched a review of the CITB. It was advised by the government’s former chief construction adviser Paul Morrell and informed by the industry, including those in the Farmer Review, the government’s response notes.

It believes the CITB should be retained but should be reformed. “There is concern across the industry about the effectiveness, efficiency and responsiveness of the CITB,” says the government in its response.

According to the response, the CITB is starting a major reform programme to reduce the size of the organisation and make it more focused on those aspects of the skills agenda where there is a clear market failure or where a collective approach to training can deliver benefits to employers.

The government says it “supports the directions of these reforms, and we hope the Construction Leadership Council will play an active role in supporting the CITB to see them through”. It adds that it will publish the final report on the review in the autumn.

Mark Farmer, co-founder and chief executive of Cast, a real estate and construction consultancy, noted the government’s “positive response” to the findings in his review.

“I recognise that driving industry change is a long haul, but with a supportive government, both acting as an intelligent public client and in terms of setting wider policy, this can only help realise my vision of a modern and fit-for-purpose construction industry. I also feel that industry itself is becoming increasingly aware of the unprecedented challenges it now faces and I believe this ‘burning platform’ is starting to accelerate its own thinking in how it embraces modernisation, albeit this also needs to be supported by the clients that the industry serves.”

The government’s full response to the Farmer Review can be found on the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) website.

* The CLC draws together business leaders from across the sector to meet the ambition of a reduction in cost, a reduction in project time, a reduction in carbon emissions and a reduction in the trade gap.


Read more:

Farmer Review puts strong case for change in construction sector

Construction industry lays bare the skills shortage


Image credit | iStock

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