Industry training came in for  criticism at the annual FIS  conference in Warwickshire last month, but CITB chief executive Adrian Belton answered critics by outlining a streamlining of CITB so that it becomes more responsive.

Earlier in the day Suzannah Nichol MBE, Build UK chief  executive, told delegates that  resources were a critical  component of the construction industry’s future but that taking on only 10,000 apprentices a year is dismal and that the £163 million  in training levy should be spent more wisely.

Mr Belton told FIS delegates that CITB had spent the last 12 months removing unnecessary tiers of management and starting to move away from delivering direct training to become an enabler and promoter.

An early review of CITB by  Mr Belton had found that CITB staff spent only 20 per cent of their time actively working with their customers and that the  remainder was wasted on  managing themselves.

Delegates heard that one of the big changes has been the streamlining of grants. Gone are the days when a complex web  of grants made it difficult for  contractors to access funds. Some 50 grants have been  replaced by just two.

Mr Belton said: “In future we’re going to be more like investment fund managers managing pots of funds and looking for a return on our investments with clear  objectives that will benefit the industry. We want to get a bigger bang for our buck.”

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