Training hub shut as industry crying-out for new workers

Grant Prior 5 months ago

Local contractors have been left baffled why a successful east London training centre is lying dormant.

Trainees at the centre before its sudden closure

The on-site hub had been responsible for training hundreds of youngsters.

But the Enquirer understands the centre has been shut for several months due to a dispute over funding.

It is funded via the CITB’s Construction Skills Fund. The initial programme had £20m to fund 26 on-site training hubs.

One local contractor said: “We are crying out for new workers and this centre was doing the business in terms of training them.

“Now everything has stopped which is completely ridiculous.

“It is a great example of training in action yet now it is just sitting their empty.”

A spokesman for the CITB said: ““The Construction Skills Fund is administered by CITB on behalf of the Department for Education.

“While capital costs are paid to hubs upfront, all other funding is conditional on the fulfilment of the original application.

“Hence, hub activities are thoroughly audited by CITB to ensure that the terms of a contract are applied.

“This is standard practice carried out by CITB throughout all its funding projects, but is particularly important where public money is concerned.

“In this case, the auditing process is still under way. No further monies will be released until the audit has been fully and satisfactorily completed.”

The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham said its centre at Barking Riverside was a separate operation and is working normally.

The council said the CITB quote related to a training hub run by a training provider called MIT which is not based in its borough.

The spokesman said: “There is only one training centre at Barking Riverside – the Barking Riverside/London Borough of Barking and Dagenham training centre, funded by the CITB Construction Skills Fund.

“In October 2018, the CITB issued 26 CSF contracts nationally.  Barking Riverside is one of the hubs and MIT is a separate hub not linked to the borough.

“There is not, nor has there been, a “site closed” at Barking Riverside.

“The CITB sent a quote to the Construction Enquirer about the MIT Training Hub which is not based in Barking and Dagenham.

“Barking Riverside/LBBD have never had a contract for training delivery with MIT or their training providers (CWOATA).”

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