Subscribe to our weekly newsletters
Subscribe to newsletter


Editor's Note: C&BE provide:-

Diploma in Construction and the Built EnvironmentDiploma in Construction and the Built Environment

Request Information

Include Article



Request Information
Terms of use


Request Facilities / Interiors product information

Request Architectural product information External

Request Architectural product information Internal

Request Mechanical HVAC product information

Request Electrical product information


Building a workforce for the future

Tim Forrest, Chief Executive Officer at HT Forrest discusses how his business is benefitting from the new Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment.

It has been well documented that the construction industry has taken a hit recently due to the global economic slowdown; new business pipelines have stalled, job losses have escalated and the knock-on effects from the financial sector have all contributed to a precarious outlook. That said, there is hope for the future, with construction business forecasts expected to pick up from 2011.

In order to prepare for the upturn, the industry must continue to invest time and money in training, so that we have enough skilled workers to deliver the huge programme of planned investment on schools, houses and infrastructure, as without a skilled workforce the UK will struggle to remain competitive. Skills shortages caused by the drop off in training during the last recession were felt years later, so it is crucial that we donít allow this downturn to cause similar problems this time around; we must learn from our past mistakes.

Thatís why we at Forrest chose to get involved with the Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment (C&BE). We work in the service sector of the construction industry with 90% of our revenue coming from the public purse. With a turnover of £50m and 420 employees, we are currently training 80 apprentices in areas such as joinery, plumbing, electrical and plastering. This gives us one of the highest apprentices to employee ratio in the area, but we expect the Diploma will provide us with a new pool of young people who have the skills to make it in the construction and the built environment sectors, covering diverse areas of expertise from tradesmen to management positions.

The Diploma in C&BE, launched last September in selected areas across England by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, will be rolled out across the country over the coming year. 57 consortia, comprising groups of employers, schools, colleges and training providers, have been given the green light to offer places on the Diploma in Construction and Built Environment (C&BE) from September 2010. This is in addition to the 44 consortia currently delivering the Diploma and the 86 due to start this September. By the end of 2010, young people in almost 80 per cent of English local authority areas will be able to study the Diploma and get their first taste of the industry.

The Diploma is a new type of qualification that listens to businesses and incorporates its philosophy into the curriculum. From its planning stages, it has been heavily influenced by industry representatives to ensure that the approach to work required by employers in their young recruits is fostered at an early age. Diploma students will develop the skills that employers seek, such as how to think creatively, problem-solve, communicate effectively and work both independently and as part of a team.

Students will gain an excellent grasp of English, Maths and IT skills, while learning how they relate these key competencies to our industry. They will also learn a range of skills, from understanding the importance of health and safety issues to the management challenges involved in construction. Increasingly important industry topics like sustainability and the impact of the built environment on the community, and professions such as architecture, planning, civil engineering, surveying and building services are also explored.

Taught by professionals with relevant industry knowledge, the Diploma in C&BE combines practical skill development with theoretical and technical knowledge that gives young people the opportunity to gain hands on experience, previously unavailable through traditional education methods, and therefore a better insight into industry. It will help young people make an effective transition from education into their adult working lives and, if they choose, to progress to higher education; over 80% of universities now accept the Diploma as a route into HE.

The reason we got involved is simple Ė we will always need new, capable recruits with an understanding of what the construction industry has to offer and the Diploma goes a long way in providing them. It gives the sector a pipeline of talent into the industry which we cannot afford to miss out on.

The Diploma will open up construction and the built environment to a wider range of young people who perhaps may not have considered the construction industry when planning their career, so it will help ensure a better and bigger pool of potential new recruits. Had I had the opportunity to study something like this when I was at school, I would have jumped at the chance. One of the pieces of feedback that we hear time and time again from students is that they had no idea that there were so many options available in the C&BE sectors, and consequently we are now in the position to inspire and help develop the next wave of quantity surveyors, civil engineers, construction managers and planners of the future.

One thing guaranteed with students is plenty of untapped creativity. Businesses that work with students enjoy the fresh ideas and new perspective that young people bring, which will also help motivate existing staff.

With more and more international firms competing for British contracts, the Diploma will help ensure that England has a highly-skilled workforce capable of competing in a global marketplace. The Diploma in C&BE could also help with staff retention. By teaching young people what the industry entails, you reduce the risk of hiring employees who decide only after entering the workforce that itís not for them.

Working with the Diploma is a fantastic way of developing new recruitment channels. This could not only reduce HR costs dramatically but it also means you get first pick of the best young people coming into the job market. Similarly, young people are more likely to work for a company if they have had positive work experience there or have heard good things about the company from other young people.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly important in business and is playing an ever more important role in how companies conduct their business. In these competitive times, the difference between winning or losing a contract could be demonstrating your commitment to your local community, such as opting for the Diploma in C&BE.

HT Forrest is committed to supporting each intake onto the Diploma course by providing materials, work placements, site visits and helping the students to prepare for job interviews. In addition, each month our surveyors and contracts managers will be visiting the centre to lecture the pupils and network with the centre staff to ensure that industry standard practices are being taught.

Over 1,100 firms have already committed themselves to supporting the Diploma in C&BE, including ourselves, Wates, Balfour Beatty, Lovell, G&J Seddon, CB&I, Kier Group and Bovis Lend Lease. As it grows, the Diploma in C&BE will need more employers to come on board so they can play an active role in the delivery partnerships. This can be done by joining one of the new consortia making the next round of bids or by joining an existing partnership to provide work experience, teaching support or site visits.

The Diploma will only succeed with the full involvement of employers and industry-wide buy-in, providing the kind of pragmatic knowledge and skills that only employers can, and Iím actively encouraging as many peers to get involved.

For more information on the Diploma and details of how to get involved, visit or


Trend BMS Motor Control Centres Digital Facilities News 280709

GROHE Premium bath fittings Premium showers Kitchen News 280709

Flškt Woods Air Handling Units Air Movement News 280709

TilePlans Interlocking Floor Tiles Warehouse floor Garage News 280709

FLOWCRETE Screeds Renders Floor Screeds Floor Resins News 280709

Flowcrete Screeds Renders Floor Screeds Floor Resins News 280709

Tyco Thermal Controls Heat Tracing Snow Melting News 290709

Leaderflush Shapland Doors External Doors Internal Timber Doors News 290709

ARDEX UK Screeds Renders Ceramic Adhesives Grouts Floor News 290709

DULUX TRADE Paint Decorative paint Performance coatings Decorator News 290709

Honeywell Valves Pipework Systems Motorised Valves Programmable News 290709

Building Better Health Property development company News 290709

Building Better Health Property development company News 290709

McBains Cooper Construction consultancy and design services Architectural News 290709

IBSTOCK Bricks Clay Bricks Brick Slips Brick News 290709

AIS Interiors Fit-outs Interior specialists News 290709

Bovis Lend Construction project management News 290709

WE-EF LIGHTING Architectural lighting products News 290709

HAKIíS Scaffold specialists News 290709

Emerson Network Power UPS supplies Uninterruptible Power Supplys News 290709

Purcell Miller Tritton Architects Architecture Buildings Designers Historic Building News 290709

Morgan Professional Services Architecture Master Planning Interior Design News 290709

LSI Architects Architectural consultants Urban design Residential design News 290709

Colt International Car Park Ventilation Smoke Control News 290709

Colt International Car Park Ventilation Smoke Control News 290709

JOHNSTONE Steel and Cladding Coatings Hygiene Coatings News 290709

LFA London Festival of Architecture News 290709

Manse Masterdor Bespoke door system News 300709

Flowcrete Screeds Renders Floor Screeds Floor Resins News 300709

PILKINGTONS BUILDING PRODUCTS Glass manufacturer News 300709

Danfoss Invertor Drives Controls Motors Variable Speed News 300709

MK ELECTRIC Electrical Accessories Cable Management Power Distribution News 300709

Pilkington Glass manufacturer News 300709

Interaction Interior design consultants Office refurbishment Office News 300709

SCS Group Fire safety specialist News 300709

Roman Wet room drainage Wet floor shower News 300709

RHS Royal Horticultural Society News 300709

Cooper Lighting Lighting controls design Lighting products company News 300709

Toolstation Tool Station Hand Tools Power Tools News 300709

Kingfisher Lighting External Lighting External Flood Lighting Amenity News 300709

Valli & Vall Handcrafted architectural hardware News 300709

Stonefix Tile and Stone Fixing Supplies News 300709

OSMO Wooden products and finishes specialist News 310709

SAS International Architectural Steelwork Ceiling Systems ceiling News 310709

KAWNEER Curtain Wall Systems Door systems Framing News 310709

Pascall+Watson Architects Architecture Master planning Interior News 310709

Polypipe Terrain Rainwater Systems Plumbing Heating Waste System News 310709

HECKMONDWIKE Carpet suppliers Fibre bonded carpets High performance News 310709

Eurocell Building Plastics Natural Ventilation Window Automation Facade Technology News 310709

FDB Electrical Earth Leakage Earth Monitoring technology News 310709

Ecotecture Ecological buildings News 310709

Powerminster Gleeson Services Renovation Refurbishment Construction Services Specialists News 310709

CME Sanitary Systems WC Wash Basin Bidet Urinal Frames News 310709

HRM Boilers Oil fired domestic boilers News 310709

Roman Wet room drainage Wet floor shower News 310709

SALTO access control systemAccess control Security Features News 310709

Kalzip Standing seam systems Solar solutions Metal News 030809

David Beckham Academy Beckham Academy Construction Cup Trophy News 030809

EMCOR Group Engineering services Facilities management News 030809

McBains Cooper Construction consultancy and design services Architectural design News 030809

VELUX Roof Windows Blinds Skylights Sun tunnels News 030809

NorDan Fenestration Contractors Public Sector Windows Public News 030809

RBH ALMO Rochdale Boroughwide Housing News 030809

NHBC National House Building Council News 030809

Blunt Construction Specialist construction Safety applications Civil engineering News 030809

CMS Acoustic Solutions Acoustic Ventilation Acoustic Insulation Sound Proofing News 030809

Sandtoft Roof Tiles Roofing Range Roof Tiles Roofing Systems News 030809

Persimmon Homes Architecture, planning and development News 030809

Avanti Interior systems Partitioning systems Relocatable partitioning News 030809

Kalzip Standing seam systems Solar solutions Metal News 030809

Whitegoods Lighting Internal Architectural Feature Lighting News 030809

Abbey Design Architectural practice News 030809

POLYFLOOR Sports Surfaces Safety Flooring Floor Flexible News 040809

ARDEX Screeds Renders Ceramic Adhesives Grouts Floor News 040809

Knauf Insulation Plasterboards Plasters Drylining Aquapanel Tile Backer News 040809

Permanite Engineered Roofing Systems Bituminous Roofing Membranes Green Roof Hot Melt News 040809

RDM Hvacr controls News 040809

Osram Automotive Lighting Headlights Xenon lamps Energy News 040809

ERA Security Hardware Solutions Hardware for doors Hardware for windows News 050809

Marley Eternit Roofing Clay Tiles Concrete Tiles Slates News 050809

National Floor Show Floor Exhibition News 050809

Mira Mixer showers Digital showers Electric showers News 050809

J S WRIGHT Building services provider News 050809

LDG Contracts Windows fabrication Window systems Sliding News 050809

BG Controls Energy management company Energy efficiency Sustainable News 050809

Pascall+Watson Architecture Master planning Interior design Design News 050809

Autodesk Building performance analysis software News 050809

KAWNEER Curtain Wall Systems Door systems Framing News 050809

ELESTA Boiler Control Building Management News 050809

Safety Net Services Safety net services Fall arrest Safety News 050809

CERAM Slip resistance testing Standardised flooring slip News 050809

The Architecture Foundation Architecture Exhibitions Talks and Events News 050809

HCP Trench heating Perimeter heating Radiant heating News 050809

HCA New housing development New residential developments News 050809

Lend Lease International property developer News 050809

Oventrop Heating and Cooling Valves Fan Coils News 050809

Space Solutions Partitions Sliding Glass Partitions Moveable Walls News 050809

Door and Hardware Federation Doors Shutters Door Furniture Door Hardware News 050809

Flškt Woods Air Handling Units Air Movement Fans News 060809

OSRAM Automotive Lighting Headlights Xenon lamps Energy News 060809

Terasaki Air Circuit Breakers Moulded Case Circuit Breakers News 060809

PILKINGTON Glass manufacturer News 060809

Steadmans Roofing Products Cladding Products Structural products News 060809

Armstrong Packaged Booster Pumps Instantaneous Hot Water News 060809

Riegens Lighting Internal Architectural Feature Lighting Commercial Office News 060809

F. Ball Flooring adhesives Subfloor preparation Underlayments News 070809

ELESTA Boiler Control Building Management News 070809

Vencel Resil Civil Engineering Products Expanded Polystyrene Culverts News 070809

NorDan Fenestration Contractors Public Sector Windows Public News 070809

UPP Development of university student residential accommodation News 070809

Codelocks Keyless door locks Push button electronic News 070809

Evac+Chair Disabled Facilities Lifts Hoists Lifts Escalators News 070809

West Waddy ADP Architects and town planners News 070809

Builder2Builder Site Waste Management Plan Website News 070809

Thomas Vale Construction Building Contractor News 070809

CP Electronics Energy saving lighting controls Lighting News 070809

Pland Stainless Stainless steel bowls Stainless steel sinks News 070809

C&BE Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment News 070809

CABE Sustainable community development Sustainable construction technology News 070809

3M Branding Graphics solutions Commercial applications Interactive digital displays Rear projection technology News 070809

Ironmongery Direct Architectural Hardware Security Accessories Doors Hardware 070809

Addagrip Resin Bound Surfacing Bonded Aggregate Surface News 070809

Autodesk Building performance analysis software News 070809

Cube Interior Solutions Commercial interior contracting specialists News 070809

Legrand Electrical fittings Wiring devices Cable management News 070809

West Waddy ADP Architects and town planners News 070809

Deva kitchen and bathroom taps Showers and accessories News 070809

F. Ball Flooring adhesives Subfloor preparation Underlayments News 070809

H+H UK Aircrete Aircrete Masonry Aircrete Products Thin News 070809

AMAC CCTV Inspection equipment for chimneys CCTV News 070809

Black Millwork Wooden windows Sustainable windows Wooden doors News 070809

T.I. Dynamic Facades Cladding Materials High Performance FaÁades Rainscreen News 070809

ERA Hardware for doors Hardware for windows News 070809

Arundel Jones Associates Ltd Registered in England and Wales No. 07334149
Hill Farm, Linton Hill, Maidstone, Kent ME 17 4AL
Tel : 01622 745333 email
copyright all rights reserved

News Categories : Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment