About
Building People

Making it easier for people to find careers information, resources, events and vacancies, and helping employers widen talent pools in order to attract and retain a more diverse built environment workforce.

We have a simple plan

Aggregate. Integrate. Enable. Connect.

Create an underpinning platform that brings together people, opportunities, resource, knowledge and needs. Integrate this platform with the websites of providers that engage with diverse audiences. Connect people to content and opportunities without disrupting user journeys. No duplication nor reinvention. Measure and report on the social value these activities generate. Join the dots.

Diversity

Improving diversity and inclusion

Skills Imbalances

Driving a supply of competent workers

Social Value

Maximising and evidencing social value

Aggregator

Our aggregator platform is the six ‘What are you looking for?’ ‘buttons’ on our home page, which bring together people, knowledge, resource, opportunities and needs across the built environment. The buttons are aimed at the individual and can also be added by any organisation to its own website, thus simplifying user journeys by enabling connections to one place that aggregates existing content and opportunities:

Search Organisations:
Organisations and initiatives that provide built environment careers support to diverse audiences

Find information:
Social value, equality, diversity and inclusion, and careers content in partnership with Designing Buildings Wiki

Ask a Person:
A place to ask built environment careers questions in partnership with Construo

Activities & Events:
What’s going on across the built environment, with a focus on activities aimed at diverse audiences

Work Opportunities:
Work experience / placements, apprenticeship, traineeship, internship and job vacancies

Resources:
Lots of fabulous resources and links to careers content, aimed at people from diverse backgrounds

Integrator

Our integrator model is simple: Anyone committed to increasing diversity in the built environment can add one or more of the ‘six buttons’ to their website. This immediately adds value for website users by creating a connection to the aggregated content and opportunities available on the Building People platform. It also gives those with, for example, vacancies, a single place to share opportunities that has established connections to organisations that have the all-important reach into diverse audiences.

Have a look at some examples of organisations that have integrated the ’six button’ approach:

Building Heroes(ex-military)
CSTT (young people)
DiverseCity Surveyors (BAME people)

We have over 35 organisations that form our Communities network and are working with all of them to integrate the ‘six button’ approach into their websites. This then gives Building People a powerful reach into a network of providers that work with 1000s of individuals from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.

Communities

There is a wealth of knowledge, activities and opportunities contained within the many different providers that help connect supply to demand across the built environment. We bring these organisations and initiatives together on a quarterly basis to identify shared challenges and to come up with collaborative solutions. We also run at least one intersectional event every year where we bring all the providers together and anticipate holding our first conference in late 2021.

The Communities network was instrumental in the development of our May 2021 collective response to the Construction Leadership Council’s Skills Plan that you can read here.

The Communities that we have created are made up of 35+ providers that work with young people, women, BAME people, ex-military personnel, ex-offenders and LGBTQ+ people. Find out more about them here. The network is growing and we’re seeking to work with every organisation identified in our Search Organisations portal (circa 300 providers), as well as establishing a Community focused on wellbeing / disability.
Please get in touch to join in.

Core Team

Rebecca Lovelace

With twenty years’ experience in industry, Rebecca brings expertise in maximising the social impact of construction projects through enabling collaboration between multiple stakeholders and individuals from diverse and disadvantaged local communities, with a particular focus on social value. Rebecca is passionate about ‘joining the dots’ and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. She is the Founder and Chief Dot-joiner at Building People, a co-founder of Be Onsite and BuildForce, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Rebecca has an MSc in Urban Regeneration.

Molly Dunn

Molly is the Project Assistant at Building People and graduated in 2020 from the University of Edinburgh with a Master’s in Chemistry. With previous experience of promoting diversity and inclusion within STEM societies at university, she is keen to transfer this enthusiasm and skill set to the built environment.

Eliza White

Eliza works on Building People’s marketing strategy and social media in conjunction with her role as internal communications officer for UCEM. She graduated from the University of Reading with a degree in French and German in 2016, and in her first job taught English to primary school students in the suburbs of Paris. She joined UCEM in 2018 as an administrative assistant in the Principal’s Office, where she gained an interest in communications. She is passionate about all aspects of diversity and inclusion, with a particular focus on those from lower-socio economic backgrounds, women and LGBTQ+ people.

Volunteers

Aisha Patel

Aisha is a creative business development rep in the tech industry. She graduated with an English degree in 2020, where she developed her passion for the built environment. She endeavors to create sustainable solutions that make cities a fairer place for everyone. 

Ana Paun

Ana is a Senior Communications professional working across a range of sectors from handling crisis communications at BRE during the Grenfell disaster, to leading communications for smooth acquisition of the i newspaper by the Daily Mail. Ana is passionate about supporting the continuous improvement and growth of an organisation through impactful communications – in good times and bad.

Celmira Gongo

Celmira is a passionate Project Manager with more than 6 year experience. After an exciting career abroad and having taken a career break to retrain and upskill, Celmira has joined Building People as a volunteer to better understand the construction sector in a bid to transfer her skills as a Project Manager to the sector.

Holly McLoughlin

Holly started her career as a design engineer who soon found herself tackling the skills and diversity agendas of the built environment. She has a wealth of industry experience having led award-winning training and development, plus directed the launch and strategy of CIOB Academy. Holly now runs Evolving Careers Ltd with a mission is to support diverse voices to leverage their personal stories in positions of power and influence, and coaches Evolving Leaders to develop the potential of their people and a culture of belonging. She brings all of this and her Career Development skills to support the mission and operations of Building People.

Shakirah Akinwale

MSc

Shakirah has transitioned from Architectural Technologies to Design Management and now works as a Project Manager. She is extremely passionate about sustainability and its holistic application and is as a freelance creative business technologist,  supporting the digital transformation of SMEs.

Shakirah also runs a startup that is bridging the digital divides in our built environment and is working towards chartership with RICS and becoming a Tech Partner. Shakirah’s passion is on promoting, and contributing to a more connected, diverse, digital and sustainable Built Environment.

Advisory Committee

Alison Nicholl

FRSA

Alison joined BRE in 2008 to manage the Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network, a £700k per annum programme that aims to increase the exploitation of innovation in the built environment.

Alison is Head of Constructing Excellence and represents BRE on the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Enterprise & Innovation Board and is leading a number of bids to secure funding to deliver a Low Carbon Innovation Network in Hertfordshire and an Open Innovation Hub on the BRE Campus.

Ashley Wheaton

BA (Hons)

Ashley joined University College of Estate Management (UCEM) in 2013 as Principal. He is responsible for all aspects of UCEM’s academic and business operations.

Ashley has previously held senior roles as Director of Global Learning Services for Microsoft, and Chief Executive Officer of InfoBasis Ltd, a global Talent Management software company. He is currently also a Member of the Executive of GuildHE, a Trustee of both JISC and the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust (CSTT), a Director of Building People CIC and a Non-Executive Director of BRE Group.

Bola Abisogun

OBE FRICS

Bola is a member of the London regional RICS board and is also a qualified APC Assessor. He established the first RICS network for BAME surveyors, DiverseCity Surveyors, and in 2010 was appointed as Chair of the Equality & Human Rights Commission’s Construction Leadership and Diversity Forum.

Bola chairs Moving on Up, a multi-million pound ‘Employer Engagement’ initiative covering three sectors, including construction. Bola is focused on promoting the Surveying profession, with a particular focus on those from non-traditional and BAME backgrounds, with little or no knowledge of what the surveying profession has to offer.

David Frise

 

A former nuclear submariner and now Chief Executive of BESA Building Engineering Services Association, David is a frequent speaker on energy efficiency, system integration, government energy and low carbon initiatives, and the gap between design and performance in buildings.

David Reynolds

FRICS FCMI MAPM

As a Chartered Project Management and Quantity Surveyor with over 25 years professional experience, David is passionate about the creation and delivery of innovative client solutions on construction and property related projects within the retail, residential, commercial, transportation and infrastructure sectors.

Owner of Bloomsbury Project Management Ltd and Court Assistant to the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors, David’s vision is for bringing change to the industry through innovation of project delivery and collaboration of people through new technology platforms.

Donna Rourke-Houguez

 

Donna heads up the awesome bunch of people that is the marketing communications and brand team at UCEM. Donna’s role combines commercial focus, 18 years of senior management experience and desire for innovation with her values of sustainability and empowering young people.

The majority of Donna’s career has been spent in the commercial property sector, spanning the line between marketing and change management, which she actually believes are one and the same! Donna is a Director of Building People CIC.

Graham Watts

OBE MCMI FRSA MRICS FRIBA CIBSE

Graham is Chief Executive and Secretary of the Construction Industry Council (CIC), and an Honorary Fellow of RIBA, CIBSE, CABE, ICWCI, BIID, CICES and the Faculty of Building and an Honorary Member of the RICS and CIAT. Graham was awarded the President’s Medal of the CIOB in 2000 and the Peter Stone Award of the Association of Building Engineers in 1996.

Prior to joining CIC, Graham was Chief Executive of the British Institute of Architectural Technologists and has been Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment since 2010.

Misa Von Tunzelman

 

Misa is Head of Marketing & Communications for BNP Paribas Real Estate and Strutt & Parker, the BNP Paribas group’s two Real Estate brands in the UK. She has over 20 years’ Marketing experience gained primarily in Professional Services and has worked in the Property sector since 2004.

Misa is also a trustee of the University College of Estate Management and Eastside Young Leaders Academy. Prior to joining BNPPRE, she worked in Marketing at JLL and was instrumental in setting up their LGBT ‘Building Pride’ network. Misa is a Director of Building People CIC.

Dr Robert Illes

BSc (Hons), PGCE, PhD, MISTC

Robert has had a varied career, having worked as a physics teacher, technical director and researcher in industry, and has since built up a consulting practice providing research and authoring services to the complex engineering and construction industries.

Robert has a passion for creating a vibrant, diverse and sustainable industry. He is the Lead Researcher, Skills and Training at BRE and is currently leading the skills and training work on the Construction Innovation Hub.

Shenaaz Chenia

 

Shenaaz is the CEO of YouthBuild Ventures UK, which is creating a model which responds to the leadership and livelihood aspirations of socially excluded youth, while simultaneously addressing the skills and labour crisis in the construction industry.

Shenaaz is passionate about the skills agenda and social mobility, and a genuine believer that the intelligence and passion of young people can bridge the skills gap.

Terry Watts

Terry is an experienced CEO of start-up and mid-sized businesses having run two Sector Skills Councils (Deputy CEO at e-skills and CEO at Proskills). He has put his passion for developing people, businesses and championing change to good use as Principal of the City of Oxford FE College, International Director of Activate Learning and MD of the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building). Terry is the Executive Director of Building People, CEO of the CSTT (Chartered Surveyors Training Trust) and MD of a start-up organisation promoting a methodical approach to modern methods of construction.

William Hill

BSc MRICS CDipAF

William qualified as a Chartered Surveyor at Drivers Jonas working in investment and joined Schroders as a fund manager before becoming CEO. His career has been spent initiating change in property investment industry including development of property unit trusts, establishing multi manager industry, securitisation and expansion into Europe.

William is past Master Chartered Surveyors’ Company, the Chairman of Ediston REIT, Mayfair Capital and Chartered Surveyors Training Trust. He is also a Board member for Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation and investment committee member for Guys and St Thomas’s Charity and Goldsmiths livery company.

Why we need Building People

The UK needs to build; there is a shortage of skilled workers and the workforce we have lacks diversity.

£1bn

Estimated £1bn a year new investment in public housing

£151bn

Potential total expenditure on infrastructure projects (public and private) between 2018 - 2021

£218bn

Potential total expenditure post 2021

168,500

Construction jobs created between 2019 and 2023

2.79m

Construction employment forecast to reach 2.79 million in 2023

79%

Per cent of construction businesses struggling to recruit staff

13%

of the construction workforce is female (2% working on site)

5.4%

of the construction workforce
is BAME

12%

of those working in construction are aged between 16 and 24

22%

of the current workforce is over 50 and 15% are in their 60s

7%

of 16-18 year-olds see construction as their first career choice

70%

of companies that focus on diversity gain success in new markets