One of the country’s leading experts in skills and apprenticeships has been appointed the new chair of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

Peter Lauener becomes chair of CITB on 1 May when James Wates steps down from the role he has held for eight years. The appointment was made by Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton.

Mr Lauener brings a wealth of experience in skills and education. He is the current, interim chief executive of the Student Loans Company, and he will initially continue in this role alongside his position as chair of CITB.

Previously, Mr Lauener has been chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships, and the Education and Skills Funding Agency. He has also been director of Skills at the former Department for Education and Skills, among many senior roles in the skills and education field.

Commenting on the appointment of Mr Lauener, Brian Berry chief executive of the FMB, said: ““In his new role, we urge Peter to make it his mission to make the CITB Board more representative of the entire construction sector. This is starting to happen with the addition of one SME representative but we want the CITB to go much further.
“The CITB Board currently only has one person from an SME firm and that person is a Human Resources professional rather than someone with an SME contractor background. SME firms make up 98% of the construction industry and train two-thirds of all apprentices. It is therefore right that this is reflected at Board level with at least half of its members being SME contractor representatives.
“If we get the governance structure right, the CITB will automatically start to better reflect the needs of small construction firms and therefore the needs of the industry as a whole.”