CIOB responds to a lack of construction industry representation on “Fair Access to Professions Panel”

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has highlighted a distinct lack of construction industry representation on the new Panel on Fair Access to Professions, announced by Cabinet Office Minister Liam Byrne as part of the Government’s New Opportunities White Paper.

The Panel aims to identify options that the professions, working with government, could take to improve access. The role of the Panel is also to ensure that everyone has a chance of a career with the main professions, regardless of background.

Currently the Panel is made up of 18 members, from which it considers to be the ‘main professions’ However, other than architecture, represented by the Royal Institute British Architecture (RIBA), there is no mention of any construction or engineering disciplines, an industry that accounts for approximately nine per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In a letter to David Knott, Head of Secretariat to the Panel, CIOB Chief Executive Chris Blythe expressed his disappointment that construction industry professionals have not been invited to participate.

One salient issue is that the CIOB has a history of working hard to provide professional routes to people from a variety of different backgrounds. As Chris Blythe stated: “We have worked for many years to provide access to professional (Chartered) status through an exciting ladder of opportunity, whether it be through degree, NVQ or work experience. In particular, we have a significant number of Chartered members who came through the trades route.”

The CIOB is also critical of the apparent lack of acknowledgement for the role of professional bodies in delivering professional people and providing opportunities for life-long professional development:

“.the proposals set out in chapter 6 of the New Opportunities White Paper, fail to acknowledge the role of professional bodies in up-skilling and updating knowledge in the current workforce. It is evident that the current Government infrastructure for skills does not support world-class professional skills, and does not identify professional bodies as key delivery partners in ensuring opportunities for lifelong learning.”

The CIOB awaits response from Mr. Knott on the development of the Panel, as an already proven provider of professional development and providing opportunities for individuals from a variety of backgrounds, the Institute believes its members could provide significant value.

To view the CIOB’s letter in full to the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions please go to: –



The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) represents for the public benefit the most diverse set of professionals in the construction industry.

The CIOB’s role is to:

· Promote the importance of the built environment.
· Lead the industry to create a sustainable future worldwide.
· Encourage leadership potential.
· Set the highest standards in quality, safety and qualification.
· Create an industry where excellence prospers.

Further information is available by contacting Saul Townsend CIOB press and communications manager on 01344 630 766 –