CITB sells King’s Norton facility to Walsall College

The sale includes the land, buildings and business, with all 17 NCC staff being transferred over as employees of Walsall College. 

The sale of the college by CITB is part of its ‘Vision 2020’ restructuring to withdraw from the direct provision of training.

The Bircham Newton facility in Norfolk – officially National Construction College East – is being acquired by West Suffolk College. This deal, agreed back in February, has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic but is expected to conclude in the coming months, the CITB said.

Discussions are under way with potential bidders for CITB’s other two National Construction Colleges, in Erith, Kent and in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire.

Braden Connolly, CITB director of products and services, said: “Walsall College is an excellent further education provider with a strong track record and links to employers all over the region. This landmark agreement will secure a bright future for high quality construction training provision for industry in the midlands, with commitments to maintain and develop existing training and with no redundancies from the sale.

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“It also marks the first of our four National Construction College facilities across the country to be sold to an alternative training provider, as part of our programme to reform CITB to better serve the sector for the future.”

Jatinder Sharma, Walsall College’s principal and chief executive, said: “This acquisition takes the college in a new direction for which we are ideally situated.  It utilises our expertise in key areas, while enabling us to increase the level and breadth of our provision.

“Construction and infrastructure are priority areas for economic recovery in the West Midlands. The emphasis really must be on how we widen our support for local employers and their workforces; ensuring they access the right skills to accelerate the pace of these new builds and redevelopments.

“We look forward to getting started.”

Despite the sale processes, all the National Construction Colleges remain open for business and are taking bookings both now and into 2021, the CITB said.

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