Adrian Belton to depart this month, less than three years into his role

CITB chief executive Adrian Belton (pictured) has resigned less than three years after taking up the role.

The training body’s chairman James Wates announced Belton’s surprise departure in a statement this morning. Belton - who joined CITB in January 2014 - will leave this month.

Sarah Beale, the organisation’s chief financial officer and corporate performance director, will become acting chief executive.

Wates also said he would be taking on a more active role “enging with industry during this time”.

Belton’s departure comes at a critical time for the CITB, with the training body’s future currently being reviewed by government under the leadership of former chief construction adviser Paul Morrell.

The CITB is also preparing for the introduction of the new all-industry apprenticeship levy from April next year. Large construction employers will pay this on top of the CITB’s existing statutory levy on construction employers.

Beale will be the acting CEO until at least next September, the CITB said, until after the conclusion of Morrell’s review and the consensus process for renewing the CITB levy.

Wates said: “I would like to thank Adrian for his dedicated service to CITB and to our industry.

“In the past three years, Adrian has led the development of key organisational reforms that have enabled and shaped CITB’s future offer to industry. Now that a plan has been delivered to the board, Adrian has decided the time is right to leave CITB and pass on the baton for a successor to deliver on that plan.

“CITB is now moving onto the next phase of its reform, which is engaging with industry on how it will support, delivering the required change and consulting on a new levy order. This includes reforming the grants scheme to ensure that levy funds are invested in the skills most needed by our industry.”

Mark Farmer, whose recent review Modernise or Die into the future of construction called for the CITB to be reformed, commented: “Ultimately refreshed leadership of this body could be important but I suspect will be viewed as tokenism by some.

“Any reform or review of the CITB will be like ‘moving deckchairs around on the Titanic’ unless some of the bigger picture issues facing the industry raised in my recent review are addressed.

“These require a coordinated and wholesale modernisation and change programme driven by industry and clients and supported by government.”

Suzannah Nichol, chief executive of contractors’ trade body Build UK, which has also called for reform of the CITB, commented: “The construction sector has been consistent in calling for strong, focused and responsive industry skills body and CITB’s commitment to reform means we are in a good place to meet these calls.

“We wish Adrian good luck for the future and look forward to working closely with Sarah Beale and the CITB team along with James Wates as CITB’s chairman, to meet the needs of employers, ensuring we have a skills system which is capable of training, qualifying and supporting our workforce of the future.”