FIS Skills proudly rolled out its flagship BuildBack programme in Birmingham on 16 February with an assessment day held for employers and trainees at South and City College. This is the first instalment of a nationwide rollout planned for BuildBack as part of the Fit-Out Futures strategy of enabling new entrants into the sector.

The BuildBack programme puts job seekers through two weeks of college training followed by two weeks of onsite work experience with an employer, to equip them with the skills and competencies required to pursue a career in drylining.

FIS Skills Birmingham BuildBack assessment day











The event enjoyed full attendance and participation from all partners and trainees. Recognised and respected names from industry attended including, Taylor Hart Ltd, Lakeside Ceiling and Partitions Ltd, BAM Construction Midlands Ltd and Mee Refurb Ltd. It was an opportunity for employers to look around the college facilities, talk to college staff, meet the BuildBack trainees and fellow employers and partners supporting the programme.

Bob Howlett, faculty head of technology and construction said: “I thought the assessment day was a great success, I had the chance to speak to both candidates and employers and was impressed by the commitment of both, candidates obviously enjoyed the practical session and were keen to join the programme and seek opportunities in the sector. I am sure this is the start of a lasting partnership with FIS which will undoubtedly bring benefits to learners, employers and the City of Birmingham as it continues to grow and prosper.”

The trainees selected from the assessment day will begin the Specialist Upskilling Programme (SUP) in drylining in early March for two weeks.  After completion of the SUP,  free semi-skilled drylining trainees will be available for work placements for two weeks,  providing wage-free assistance on projects from the 26 March 2018.

Phil Eves, employment and skills co-ordinator, BAM Construction said: “The BuildBack assessment day was very interactive, it gave us an opportunity to engage with the supply chain,  have direct conversations with the trainees and other employers who attended and see first-hand the high quality of the college facilities that will be delivering the programme.”

Midlands based employers can register their interest in taking trainees for work placements at

Further information on the BuildBack programme can be found in the Skills Hub here.