The latest Construction Skills Network forecast suggests that an extra 158,000 new jobs will be created over the next five years.

The employment rate in the UK is at its highest ever with more than 32 million people in work. Employers across the construction industry are now having to compete in a tightening labour market. Many employers report that they are struggling to fill their vacancies due to labour, skill and talent shortages. Some employers also struggle to achieve their local employment and skills plan obligations in local planning or social value agreements.

There are now over 11 million people in the UK who have a criminal record, but many construction industry employers have faced varied challenges in accessing this vast potential talent pool.

Mind the Gap Project

Mind the Gap is a ground-breaking initiative commissioned by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to help develop employment pathways into the construction industry for people with convictions who are motivated to work and provide employers the necessary resources, support and training they need to confidently access this talent pool.

Over the three-year duration of the project, the partners are working together with other key stakeholders to address the skills gaps in the sector and reduce reoffending rates.

Mind the Gap provides training and support to over 400 businesses and meaningful work and training opportunities for individuals (both in custody and the community) throughout the whole sector. The project operates across England including London and South-East, Birmingham and West Midlands, Manchester and North-West.

About the partners

The project is led by Be Onsite, Lendlease’s not-for-profit company. The other partners are:  A Fairer Chance, Bounce Back, Mitie Foundation and Nacro.

Be Onsite leads the property sector in creating a positive legacy of skilling and employment that transforms lives and regenerates communities. Be OneSite’s proven expertise in supporting serving prisoners and people with convictions enables candidates to train on the job leading to sustained careers in the industry.

A Fairer Chance identifies and influences skills and training delivered both in custody and the community which it then translates into sustainable employment. It specialises in working with people with convictions to develop sustainable skills and employment routes in partnership with employers and the public sector.

Bounce Back is providing construction skills training, qualifications and support for people with convictions both in custody and the community. Working with a number of construction and corporate partners, Bounce Back provides tailored training courses that directly respond to the needs of the industry. A team of case managers also offer support for up to a year post release to assist both the individuals and their employers with the passage into work.

Mitie Foundation delivers Employer Engagement Business Challenge Days in prisons to provide an opportunity for serving prisoners to meet potential employers, leading to offers of work experience, guaranteed job interviews and sustainable employment upon their release from custody.

Nacro’s Employer Advice Service has developed practical guidance specifically for employers in the construction industry on safe and fair recruitment. It also provides free operational support through our dedicated employer helpline and is delivering free safer recruitment training to employers in the construction industry throughout all regions in England.

Get involved


Mind the Gap guide

Contact us

If you would like further information on how your business can access the Mind the Gap funded safer recruitment training and support, or on how to get involved with the Mind the Gap project, please call 0845 600 3194 or email:

Follow us on Twitter at @MindtheGap2020

We will be holding our next safer recruitment events in the autumn. Sign up for further details.