Attracting new entrants with construction STEM Ambassadors

Attracting new entrants with construction STEM Ambassadors

STEM Ambassadors are needed to show more young people the wide range of opportunities available in construction.  STEM Construction and Built Environment Ambassadors play an essential role in inspiring young people to think about a career in construction through a range of activities, including school presentations, careers talks and mentoring.

The CLC’s Industry Skills Plan includes a commitment to recruit 7,000 Construction STEM Ambassadors, and with the new school year approaching it is the perfect time for FIS members to register by email as a STEM Employer and encourage your teams to sign up online to become STEM Ambassadors!  Further information on how to get involved can be found in this short film.  If you like to have a chat about what is involved before committing please call FIS on 0121 707 0077 or email we will be happy to help.

Places available on Interior Systems Installer Apprenticeship Training Course

Places available on Interior Systems Installer Apprenticeship Training Course

The current training being delivered by the National Construction College in Bircham Newton has vacancies for individuals.  The cohort started on 20 September 2021, but the college is happy to provide catch up training for any late starters, who will then join the running programme.  The first part of the training covers the core options of the apprenticeship standard: Interior Systems Installer the cohort will then split into groups of those taking option one for Dry Lining and those taking option two for Ceilings and Partitions.  This is a block release training programme and apprentices will be required to attend college:

  • 24 Jan 2022 – 4 weeks
  • 02 May 2022 – 4 weeks
  • 24 Oct 2022 – 4 weeks
  • 13 March 2023 – 4 weeks complete

For full details please contact Trudie Blackshaw telephone 07770 841816.

For organisations that are CITB registered grants are available for apprentice travel and subsistence costs, please see: CITB Apprentice Travel and Accommodation Grant

The next Interior Systems Installer apprenticeship training course starts at Bircham Newton in December 2021.  Details will be made available nearer the start date.  FIS will be happy to provide further information, advice and guidance of taking on a apprentice, contact or telephone 07553 874838.

Talentview Construction launches to construction employers

Talentview Construction launches to construction employers

In the face of long-term skills shortages, employers are being urged to sign up to Talentview Construction, a new dedicated online platform for those looking to secure their first role in construction, which is no wlive.

Launched on 21 September, Talentview Construction is completely free to use platform which helps candidates to browse a variety of opportunities by signing up to alerts for job and training opportunities and building their own online profile so employers can find them more easily.

Employers are encouraged to list all their opportunities for new entrants, including apprenticeships and work experience, on the platform. Talentview will sit alongside the Construction Talent Retention Scheme providing a ‘one‐stop shop’ for the recruitment and retention of skills across the industry, and you can watch the recent CLC webinar which outlines how the platform works and the steps to sign up.

With more than 600 relevant apprenticeship vacancies already listed and construction colleges around the country preparing to bring candidates on board, employers can register with TVC and use the scheme to promote their range of early careers opportunities.

Even without the growth of ‘green jobs’, it is estimated that the construction industry needs to recruit more than 217,000 new workers between now and 2025 to support its current activity, including the development of exciting new careers in digitalisation and sustainability[i].

Talentview Construction makes it easier for those searching for such a career in construction to join, taking advantage of an exciting array of opportunities, given the sector’s role at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery. Construction already employs about three million people, providing multiple career paths through the sector.

Mark Reynolds, Group CEO of Mace Group and the Construction Leadership Council’s lead on skills, says:

“More than ever, the industry needs a strong pipeline of talent. Talentview Construction is a window on the industry for all those wishing to enter construction as new entrants and career changers. We must make it easier for people to join our sector to support growth and to improve our levels of diversity – but to do so everyone needs to do more to recruit openly and make flexible opportunities accessible through schemes like this.

 “This is exactly what so many businesses have been crying out for, helping them tackle skills shortages and gear up for future growth. Initiatives such as Talentview Construction – part of the Construction Talent Retention Scheme – have the potential to dramatically improve our industry, but we all need to get behind it if it is to be a success.”

Talentview Construction will enable candidates to browse opportunities by signing up to alerts for job and training opportunities, get advice on construction job roles and the best routes into the industry, and build their own online profile so employers can find them.

Employers can use it to showcase their business to talented new recruits on the TVC site, and upload all their early career vacancies, including traineeships, apprenticeships and graduate jobs. They can also search for suitable candidates and directly contact students and apprentices, as well as connecting more closely with schools, universities and construction colleges.

Talentview Construction is the newest offering from the Construction Talent Retention Scheme (CTRS) which was established by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Construction Leadership Council last summer.

Together with complementary sites like CITB’s Go Construct, TVC and CTRS help to create a ‘one stop shop’ sector talent hub for the attraction, development and retention of people and skills within construction and the built environment, as part of the Government’s broader support to business on skills.

The free-to-use site launches on 21 September, supported by a national media campaign to engage young people and other new entrants considering apprenticeships for next year, as well as graduate roles and other ways into the industry.

Employers can sign up at or contact Christian Warden on 07903 701503 for a demonstration of the new scheme.


Changes to Occupational Work Supervision NVQ structure and CSCS cards

Changes to Occupational Work Supervision NVQ structure and CSCS cards

Following consultation with industry the National Working Group (NWG) for Occupational Work Supervision (OWS) has confirmed the removal of the endorsement list and redefined the pre-entry requirements for the OWS N/SVQ.

This means that CSCS no longer require applicants applying for the Supervisory Gold card with an OWS N/SVQ to submit additional evidence demonstrating competence in their occupation.

Applicants need only to provide evidence of their OWS N/SVQ and to have passed the Specialist Supervisor level CITB Health, Safety and Environment test within the last two years.

The announcement from the National Working Group also means that CSCS will stop printing the occupational endorsement on the reverse of the card for any new card applications received from 1 October 2021.

Garry Mortimer, Operations Manager at CSCS said:

“CSCS supports the findings of the National Working Group. The removal of the endorsement will simplify the card application process for our applicants.”

The NWG accepts that it is the responsibility of all employers to ensure that their supervisors are competent to carry out their duties. The NWG for OWS has approved any of the following entry requirements for those taking the OWS NVQ or SVQ:

  1. the individual’s occupational industry experience prior to being registered for the Occupational Work Supervision qualification
  2. the individual’s ability and experience in supervising teams
  3. the individual is occupationally competent to at least level 2 or SCQF level 5 in construction

Awarding Organisations must ensure that candidates provide evidence to demonstrate relevant verifiable experience. This evidence must be verified prior to being registered for the OWS N/SVQ and should meet the following criteria:

  1. The candidate provides evidence to demonstrate relevant verifiable experience and competence in their occupational area for example: qualification to N/SVQ Level 2 or SCQF Level 5, or
  2. A letter from the employer confirming the candidate’s suitability and a professional discussion or portfolio evidence of previous experience.

Garry Mortimer continued:

“To ensure safety on site, it is vital that the Awarding Organisations verify candidates’ evidence before approving their entry onto the N/SVQ.

“Similarly, employers have a duty to not only check the CSCS card thoroughly to ensure the holder has achieved the OWS NVQ, but to ensure that their supervisors are competent to carry out their duties.”

You can find out more about applying for a CSCS card with the Occupational Work Supervision NVQ here or via the OWS FAQ section.

BuildBack in action

BuildBack in action

Watch to see how BuildBack can benefit your business and the progamme in action

FIS went behind the scenes at Sandwell College to film candidates in action on its BuildBack training programme, which covers the skills and competencies required for installing drylining.

The programme aims to get individuals site ready and aware of the health and safety requirements of being on site, before being placed on two-weeks work experience.

FIS also hosted a webinar to explain how BuildBack offers support for employers who are experiencing labour shortages. The emphasis is on this being of no direct financial cost to employers. You can watch this here and find out how BuildBack can benefit your business.

BuildBack has candidates ready for work placement, so if you have any opportunities to help them get started in our sector, email and FIS can do the rest.

Background on BuildBack

BuildBack is an standardised recruitment and induction programme for those looking to start a career in drylining. Run by FIS and funded by CITB – it has been developed to help find the next generation of dryliners. The programme recruits and assesses candidates before putting them through two weeks of introduction training in the skills and competencies required for installing drylining, followed by a two-week work placement on-site with a local employer.

To register as an employer and offer BuildBack candidates work placements, or are interested in starting a career in drylining email or telephone 0121 707 0077.

Join the conversation at #attackthegap

Industry placements – supporting your workforce development (Webinar Recording)

Industry placements – supporting your workforce development (Webinar Recording)

The webinar was delivered on 29 July 2021.

An industry placement is an extended period of structured time that a student spends in your workplace, developing real skills and making a meaningful contribution to your organisation.

What might this look like in the current circumstances?

Many employers have already been offering industry placements, which will be a fundamental part of T Levels – a new course designed by employers that follows GCSEs, which combines classroom learning with a substantial placement (at least 315 hours).

In this 1-hour online session, we gave an overview of what industry placements are, how they might contribute to your workforce development in the coming months, and the government support now available to help you.

The webinar recording and slides can be found below.

Download webinar slides here