I want to respond to Steve Elkin's letter (14 March, page 34), which criticised the Construction Industry Training Board for "pulling the funding" of Regional Construction Careers Groups.
His account is not a real reflection of the current situation. Thirteen of these groups were set up around the country and the CITB supported them by providing funds for their administration costs. Steve was a very enthusiastic and hard-working chairman of our East Midlands forum.

However, the CITB has not stopped supporting the groups – we have just brought them in-house as an integral and important element of the work of our Area Education teams. As a developing Sector Skills Council, along with our partner the Construction Industry Council, we have taken a fully inclusive approach. Where we used to concentrate on craft training and recruitment, we have now evolved into being equally focused on the craft and professional skills agenda.

Our area education teams have been instrumental in forming relationships with colleges, schools, employers and other stakeholders at a local level, and we support this grassroots work with a national advertising and promotional campaign. Our staff are also involved at the policy level with the government and we are currently involved in talks about how best to encourage more take-up of higher education programmes in construction and the built environment. This includes the current and emerging foundation degree programmes.

We still need the support and value of people like Steve Elkin and we look forward to his and others' continuing involvement in our work.