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20 September 2007

ConstructionSkills urges employers to back the new Construction and Built Environment Diploma

Employers are being urged by ConstructionSkills to sign up to the new 14-19 Construction and Built Environment (C&BE) Diploma as the Government opens ‘Gateway 2’, the latest window in which companies can apply to participate in the partnerships which will deliver the Diploma.

With just one year to go until pupils begin to take the new Diploma, approximately 4,000 students studying at schools and colleges named in March’s ‘Gateway 1’ announcement are now able to opt to take the new qualification which has been developed with employer input.

The C&BE Diploma offers employers in the sector a real opportunity to help inform the education of young people and shape the skills of the future workforce but greater numbers are needed to come forward to offer work experience, teaching support or site visits to give students an insight into industry. A large number of employers are already involved including Wates, Balfour Beatty, Lovell, G&J Seddon, CB&I, Kier Group and Bovis Lend Lease.

44 Diploma consortia, which include employers, schools and colleges were approved to deliver the C&BE Diploma from September 2008. Employers can still sign up to those approved consortia or alternatively they have until 3 December 2007 to register an interest with schools and colleges applying to take part in Gateway 2. A full list of areas where applications have already been made for consortia partnerships and their current status can be found on the DCSF’s website.

Jim Knight, the DSCF Minister of State for Schools and 14-19 Learners, delivered a key note speech today outlining what is regarded as the most significant reform of education since GCSEs and the National Curriculum were introduced. He issued a rallying call for industry and education professional alike to back the Diplomas.

Wates is already involved in a consortia and Chris Simpson, Training Manager, Wates, said: “Here at Wates we are passionate about the continuing development of the construction and built environment industries, and fully support initiatives like the Diploma, which can only serve to improve perceptions and future recruits. Changing the image, and content of young people’s introductions to our thriving sectors are key to ensuring a larger, better prepared pool of recruits for employers like ourselves to build Britain’s future.”

Nick Gooderson, Head of Standards and Qualifications, ConstructionSkills said: “Since September 2005 we have worked closely with industry, Government and education providers to develop the C&BE Diploma. We have made good progress with employers to make sure that they don’t miss out on this opportunity to get involved with shaping and delivering the new qualification, but there is still a real need for more employers to get involved in local partnerships.”

The Construction & Built Environment Diploma has been developed in consultation with industry to ensure it reflects the needs of employers. It combines practical skill development with theoretical and technical knowledge, taught by people with relevant industry knowledge. It will give young people the opportunity to gain real hands on experience, previously unavailable through traditional education methods.

The new Diploma will require young people to demonstrate numeracy and literacy, but also ability in a number of important practical issues relevant to the construction and built environment sector such as health and safety, sustainability, work based practical learning, and the impact of the built environment on the Community. The Diploma will teach students about professions such as architecture, civil engineering and building services, the regulatory framework, design processes, and the enterprise and management challenges which construction poses.

Employers are being urged to find out more about getting involved by visiting or through requesting a copy of the new Welcome Pack. To register your interest in supporting the delivery of the C&BE Diploma contact Jenny English on or


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