UCEM’s widening participation ambitions boosted by acquisition of Built Environment digital network

Posted on: 21 November, 2018

UCEM’s widening participation ambitions have been boosted after acquiring an innovative Built Environment digital network.

Building People, a social enterprise that aims to connect people traditionally not involved in the Built Environment sector with employers seeking to plug skills gaps via an online platform, is now a subsidiary of UCEM.

As part of the acquisition, Building People founder, Rebecca Lovelace, has joined UCEM as an employee and will continue to advance the work of the technology platform and network, enabling and connecting an ecosystem of existing employment and skills providers with employers and jobseekers. Part-funding will now come directly from UCEM as part of the institution’s ever-growing focus on widening access to opportunities across the Built Environment.

UCEM Principal, Ashley Wheaton, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Rebecca and Building People to UCEM in what I believe will be a hugely positive development for all involved.

“When we held the first Built Environment Skills Summit at UCEM at the end of 2017, all the stakeholders in the room were unanimous in the view that the sector lacked a coherent voice and sufficient collaboration to effect demonstrably positive change.

“I then spoke to Rebecca who told me about Building People and her vision which convinced me that the organisation could provide that missing link between real estate and construction firms and underrepresented groups within the sector. I am tremendously excited about the future for Building People and look forward to supporting Rebecca in her efforts to galvanise the sector as it modernises to meet the challenges of an insufficient skills supply and appeal to more sections of society.”

Rebecca Lovelace added: “It’s fantastic that UCEM has been the first to truly invest in Building People. We already have significant support across industry and from many third sector employment and skills providers, and this commitment and leadership from UCEM is enabling Building People to more securely take the next steps in joining the dots across the Built Environment.

“Building People’s mission is to collaboratively develop and deliver a technology platform that enables improved connections between supply and demand across the Built Environment, aggregating and adding value to providers, not duplicating nor reinventing what already exists.

“Our aim is for Building People to become the single digital marketplace to connect people to opportunities across the sector in the UK. We don’t need to create yet another initiative; we need to enable and improve connections, drive traffic and add value to what already exists and make it easier for jobseekers and employers to come together. It is by enabling this collaboration that we can truly create one single marketplace that connects supply with demand.

Many groups and organisations are already supporters of Building People, including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Landsec, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and Women into Construction.

Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the City & Guilds Group, said: “The industry needs to improve its productivity and we need to find a better way to recruit, develop and retain the talent of diverse individuals.

“The ambition of Building People to create a technology platform and collaborative network, which enables connections and seeks to reduce skills shortages across the Built Environment, is timely and needed.”

To find out more about Building People and get involved, visit buildingpeople.org.uk