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.


Improving diversity and inclusion

Skills Imbalances

Driving a supply of competent workers

Social Value

Maximising and evidencing social value


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 a Mentor / Become a Mentor via the Makers and Mentors programme from Mount Anvil

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

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


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 and/or integrate APIs and easily share vacancies and opportunities via the Building People platform. This simplifies user journeys and enables equality of opportunity across a fragmented careers landscape by improving connections between diverse supply and demand. 

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

Building Heros (ex-military)
CSTT (young people)
DiverseCity Surveyors (BAME people)
The Rebuild Project (women)

We are also integrating APIs from the websites of those advertising work vacancies and events to connect them to our aggregating and connecting platform. This will significantly boost the number of opportunities on Building People and - through our reach into 1,000s of diverse individuals via our Communities network - support more under-represented individuals to find and access careers opportunities across the built environment.


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. Membership is free and open to all organisations/initiatives that provide built environment careers support to diverse audiences.

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.

We’d love you to get involved. Please get in touch to join in 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 Manager 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.

Teresa Scott


Teresa founded award-winning Employability specialist Kennedy Scott, which she led for 30 years. Designing and delivering both commercial training alongside employability and skills programmes. Teresa brings expertise in diversity, inclusion and employability, working collaboratively with Industry and the Public sector to ensure better representation of local communities across the country.
In 2016 Teresa was awarded both Business Woman of the Year at the Network SHE awards and an ERSA Lifetime Achievement Award.    Teresa was further recognised for her lifelong commitment to the Employability Industry with an OBE for Employability and Entrepreneurship, awarded in the Queens New Years Honours list 2018

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.

Advisory Committee

Alison Nicholl


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


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


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.

Helen Yeulet

Helen Yeulet is the Director of training and skills of BESA Academy, the training arm of the Building Engineering Services Association. Following a career driving business and technology change in industries as diverse as Npower, Ministry of Justice, BSKYB, RBS, NG Bailey, she became responsible for developing a new training strategy for the Finishes and Interiors Sector.
She is a non-executive Director for YouthBuild, Ventures UK and Building People and is focused on identifying the cultural changes the sector needs to address competency, the increasing skills gap whilst also preparing and delivering for net zero.

Jan Peters

Jan’s passion is putting people at the heart of engineering and construction, creating environments where people can be themselves and live happier and fulfilling lives.
President of the Women’s Engineering Society from 2008 – 2011 she was awarded an MBE for services to women in engineering and science in the 2017 New Year Honours List. Jan holds the role of Visiting Professor at the Open University. As CEO of Katalytik Ltd, she has delivered influential reports on diversity in engineering and construction and leads trainings on inclusive teams.

Machel Bogues

Machel is the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) following on from starting his own company, Abeng ltd, designing and delivering ED&I strategies and policies. For over 10 years he has successfully managed equality, diversity and inclusion projects gaining experience and knowledge of using design principles to deliver transformational change; developing, delivering and integrating equalities diversity and inclusion principles into daily business activities.

Maria Coulter


With a career spanning over 20 years in the industry as a Quantity Surveyor, Project Manager and Risk Manager, Maria’s interest in personal development led her to become a qualified Personal and Business Coach in 2012.
Maria is passionate about bringing positive, lasting change to the industry and launched Construction Coach in 2014 working with SME’s and micro-businesses to build stronger, more profitable and happier businesses.
To influence change Maria is also a Non-Executive Director on the Construction Industry Council national board and Chair of the CIC Diversity and Inclusion Panel.

Nikki Bulteel

Nikki is the Inclusion and Employability Manager at University College of Estate Management (UCEM) following on from her work as a member of the academic team. She is currently leading the institution’s drive to widen participation in the built environment in her current role. Nikki is a chartered surveyor and also sits on the board of DiverseCity Surveyors.

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.

Shakirah Akinwale


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.

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 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


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.


Estimated £1bn a year new investment in public housing


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


Potential total expenditure post 2021


Construction jobs created between 2019 and 2023


Construction employment forecast to reach 2.79 million in 2023


Per cent of construction businesses struggling to recruit staff


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


of the construction workforce


of those working in construction are aged between 16 and 24


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


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


of companies that focus on diversity gain success in new markets