CITB ConstructionSkills has begun the process of slashing a quarter of its staff by 2011, as it struggles to plug a £10m deficit

It is understood the training body cut 140 jobs in 2009 following a £13m loss in 2008. This left it with 1,400 employees.

Following a freedom of information request, it has emerged that the industry’s statutory training body is planning a further 250 redundancies, including senior managers.

Mark Farrar, chief executive of CSkills, said the job losses were “an unfortunate consequence of change, but necessary if we are to meet the changing needs of our customers”.

He added: “We are doing everything we can to minimise the number of redundancies but at this point in time we can’t say that there will not be more.”

It is hard to see where the cost saving is in the redeployment of staff

Paul Jessop, FPDC

A number of problems have led to the £10m deficit: CSkills has paid out more in grants than expected because companies are retraining rather than recruiting; contributions to the training levy have been lower as companies’ turnover has fallen; and the redevelopment of the National Construction College in Norfolk, in which the body made a £1.5m investment, has been cancelled.

Farrar said CSkills would attempt to redeploy people. however, this suggestion has been met with anger by the Federation of Plasterers and Drywall Contractors (FPDC), which is threatening to leave the CSkills over a dispute about the value for money; last year it paid £14.5m in levy and received £6.2m in grant.

Paul Jessop, chief executive of the FPDC, said: “It is hard to see where the cost saving is in the redeployment of staff. How is this going to help the situation?”

It will be one of the issues facing incoming chair James Wates, who was announced as the replacement for Sir Michael Latham in the role last week.