The View of Construction

Employing approximately 51,0001 people across the D2N2 area, the construction sector is one of D2N2’s 8 key priority sectors. The sector’s future growth prospects in D2N2 are intrinsically linked to the performance of the local and national economies; however, the construction sector can play an important role in generating additional economic activity. For every £1 invested in house-building generation, nearly £3 through various resources such as wages, profits, spending coming from suppliers including the aggregates/minerals industry (Derbyshire's largest producer of minerals) as well as spending in the wider economy. The construction sector is playing a pivotal role in increasing the economic prosperity of D2N2.

Cllr Jon Collins (first right) and Peter Gadsby (second right) visiting the site of the new Biocity Nottingham Extension.

Cllr Jon Collins (first right) and Peter Gadsby (second right) visiting the site of the new BioCity Nottingham Extension. Picture Courtesy of Shawn Ryan

Vision West Nottinghamshire College student laying bricks as part of a construction course.
West Nottinghamshire College student on a construction course

D2N2'S Construction Procurement

An important issue for the construction sector in D2N2 is to ensure that businesses are able to access both public sector and private procurement opportunities, as well as being able to find the training they need to increase their workforce skill through apprenticeships and other training available.

D2N2 has a number of large employers including Nottingham's powerhouse Morgan Sindall, Bowmer and Kirkland in Belper, GF Tomlinson in Derby city and Woodhead (Going from Good to Gold Programme). The construction sector within D2N2 is relatively productive with output per worker estimated to be 9% higher than the UK overall and accounting for 8.7% of GVA in the D2N2 area.

D2N2‘s Procurement Charter was launched at the D2N2 2015 Annual Conference. Aimed at the Construction sector, it asks project sponsors to monitor the social, environmental and economic impact of their capital works. This builds on the national Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012; which encourages organisations putting work contracts out to consider utilising them to address social, economic and environmental needs.

Procurement Charter

With significant funding coming through the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire to support economic activity, it is our ambition to maximise the benefits of funding streams for our businesses and communities.

Through Growth Deal funding we are committed to this D2N2 Procurement Charter, setting out how we want to raise standards using the principles of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012; optimising the economic, social and environmental outcomes that can be generated.

To view the D2N2 Procurement Charter, click here

Procurement Charter - Summary, click here

D2N2 Procurement Charter - Full Document, click here

Funding for Construction

Contractors working on major projects co-funded by D2N2, for example through the Local Growth Fund (LGF), are then encouraged to capture their impact and environmental benefits which includes apprenticeship development, widening employee diversity in the industry (recruiting more women and ethnic minority workers), or open up opportunities for the long-term unemployed. With this corporate social responsibility and the need for a business to turn a profit can go hand-in-hand.

D2N2 have £192m of LGF capital projects in the pipeline for the next 3 years. LGF funding comes directly from the central government and each LEP bids for a proportion. The funding will be used to build and create infrastructure across D2N2. Each of these projects will create a number of jobs for local construction businesses immediately and deliver the long term benefits from the Procurement Charter. All projects are required to tender through formal procurement methods.

Apprentice Chris Makin of Derry Building Services, Newark
Apprentice Chris Makin of Derry Building Services Newark

D2N2 Tenders

Tenders in the D2N2 area can be viewed on Source DerbyshireSource Nottinghamshire and Local Supply Chain. These websites dedicated to linking clients with contractors and subcontractors for working opertunities. An invitation to tender is posted on the portal and is visible to contractors that are within a set radius of the construction site so that they can submit tenders for local work. Subcontractors are able to express interest in contracts, upload their skills and receive feedback if they do not get selected for the work.

Construction Skills

It is also an important provider of skilled jobs and training / apprenticeship opportunities for young people together with ‘up-skilling’ of the supply chain in collaboration with larger businesses. There are also emerging specialisms in low carbon construction, retrofit and renewable technologies.

D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has been working with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to produce a construction pipeline and skills analysis for the D2N2 area. 

The report provides the industry with a long term projection of major public sector capital works. It helps identify the demand for skills as a result of planned investments which includes replacement demand for any skills shortages and gaps.  It is expected that the report can be utilised to prompt identification of solutions to maximise employment opportunities in the region.

The final report was launched in May 2016.

To view a copy of the short report, click here.

To view a copy of the full report, click here.

To view a copy of the presentations from the launch, click here.

Recommendations from the report:

  • 1a - Review and develop, as appropriate, the D2N2 skills plan to ensure that the gap between demand and skills provision for high demand or priority professions and trades does not become a problem.

  • 1b - Pipeline identification, planning and exploitation. Develop, as far as possible, a more detailed long term picture of construction and infrastructure investments for the D2N2 area; assess their implications and potential skills demands and use this information to inform skills recruitment (1a).

  • 1c - Reskilling and upskilling. A holistic skills plan may benefit from identifying cross-sectoral occupational impacts on labour requirements and opportunities.

  • 2 - Identify potential partners within the D2N2 area that will have an interest and shared vision for economic growth. Share analysis with them and engage them in contributing to building collaborative holistic plans.

  • 3 - Develop the future curriculum. Increase provision of construction skills training (following on from recommendation 2).

  • 4 - Build a more positive image of construction and enhance careers guidance through schools.
    Work with construction contractors to help them enhance the image they project.
    The consultation with D2N2 stakeholders on 5 April 2016 asserted the long-term importance of changing perceptions among young people about construction careers; about making them attractive to those who have traditionally been under represented in construction: e.g. women, ethnic and other minorities and those disadvantaged and requiring additional support.

  • 5 - Introduce smart procurement as a lever to enable skills development and image enhancement, whereby public sector tenders contracts set requirements or rewards for value-add initiatives such as: outreach; image development; encouraging participation from minority groups, re-skilling and upskilling.
    This has the potential to influence progress against recommendations: 2, 3, 5 & 6.

  • 6 - Apprenticeships. Government has set a commitment to create three million apprenticeships by 2020. The D2N2 area can contribute to this by enabling apprenticeships and the opportunity to incentivise employers and colleges to work together to create a shared apprenticeship scheme.

D2N2 LEP Skills Plan

D2N2 has published its Construction Sector Action Plan where it highlights its strategic priorities to help achieve this.


1 Supply data – refers to individual learning records data from the Skills Funding Agency; and to Ofqual and CITB research such as the mobility study.

For business support into this sector please visit: