Balfour Boss Quits Council After Criticising CITB

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Balfour Boss Quits Council After Criticising CITB

The Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty, Leo Quinn, is stepping down from the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) after little more than a year in the role.

Earlier this month, Leo Quinn publically criticised the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) saying that it had failed in its mission to provide a skilled construction workforce and that it is unaccountable. Quinn’s lack of confidence in the CITB led to him declaring that Balfour Beatty would not support the continuation of the CITB levy in the current consensus vote, without which the organisation could not survive.

Balfour Beatty has denied that Leo Quinn’s resignation from the CLC has anything to do with his condemnation of CITB. A spokesperson said “There is absolutely no link to the CITB comments at all.”

The CLC was set up in 2013 to work between industry and government to help support the industry to become more efficient and skilled. It has six work ‘streams’: innovation in buildings, supply chain and business models, green construction, exports and trade, smart technology, and skills. Leo Quinn headed the skills work stream.

SMEs Key to Solving Skills Shortage
Commenting on the resignation, Brian Berry, head of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said:  “Whoever replaces Leo Quinn as the Skills Lead on the CLC should come from a small or micro construction firm. Construction SMEs train two-thirds of all construction apprentices and are key to resolving the chronic skills shortage in the UK. Small construction firms are champions of quality training and will play an integral role in helping the Government to reach its ambition to deliver three million apprenticeships by 2020.”

“More generally, questions remain regarding how well the CLC reflects the structure of the construction industry. Quinn stepping down presents the Council with an opportunity to take a fresh look at its membership. Arguably it doesn’t currently represent or engage with huge swathes of the construction industry – most notably the private domestic contractor. Professionalising the domestic builder is key to improving the overall image of the construction industry and until we do that, we won’t succeed in attracting the right calibre or number of new entrants into our industry.”

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