Construction & Civil Engineering Task Group minutes: 2 August 2023

Meeting details

Wednesday 2nd August 2023 at 09:30-11:00
Location: ESCG/OHM Energy Green Skills Training Hub 3A Hampden Retail Park, Eastbourne BN23 6QU and MS Teams



Organisation, Role



Scott Monk

GM Monk Managing Director, Task Group CHAIR


Adam Bennett

Wealden District Council, Procurement Team


Caroline Bragg

ESCC, Employability & Skills Strategy Manager


Celine McGeown

CITB, Customer Engagement Manager


Cllr Jim Murray

Eastbourne Councillor, Construction Skills Assessor


Dr David Oloke

University of Brighton, Head of Technical Education and Apprenticeships


Elaine Remon

East Sussex College, Employability Operations Manager 


Ian Whittle

RESTART, Partnership Manager South Coast


Jennie Cole

East Sussex Careers Hub, Enterprise Co-ordinator


Marc Pope

CITB, East Sussex Engagement Advisor


Paul Vine

OHM Energy Director, Sussex Decarbonisation Training Hub


Paula Sanders

Chaffin Works, HR Manager


Sara Taylor

Eastbourne & Lewes Councils, Regeneration


Steve Sefton

University of Brighton


Michael Counts

ESCC Public Health, East Sussex Housing Partnership Lead


Steve Hayman

Cheesmur, Director


Dermot Clarke



Barry Cuwen

Gatwick Airport, Employment and Skills Lead


Hannah Brookshaw

ESCC, Projects and Partnership Manager


Jeremy Rabinovitch



Donna Harfield

East Sussex College, Vice Principle – Business Development


Paul Jennings

Morgan Sindall, Social Value Manager


Vanessa Potter

SCTP, Executive Director


Michelle Chandler

Willmott Dixon, Senior Social Value Manager



Josh Kemp

ESCC, Senior Business Administrator



Susan Harrison

Austin Cradles Scaffolding


Sarra Hawes

Hawes Construction, Director


Noel Painting

University of Brighton Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering


Gill Ramsay

East Sussex College Group, Business Development Team


Ian Pickard

IPD Training


Jermaine Olafa

CXK, Regional Manager, Skills & Employability


George Chapman

Rother District Council, Employment & Skills Lead

Actions arising from this meeting
Action Lead Due by
1.    Finalise working groups and send information to members to opt to join WGs SM/CM/HB End Sept
2.    Draft letter from SM about joining task group to be shared via Careers Hub, college, procurement contractors. CB/SM End Aug
3.    Follow up list of Morgan Sindall sub-contractors CB End Aug

1. Welcome (new members) and housekeeping

Introductions made, including Hannah Brookshaw, new Projects and Partnership Manager, ESCC Employability and Skills team, who will be leading on the task groups.

2. Review of Previous Minutes & Actions

All previous actions from the last minutes have been completed or on the agenda.

3. Retrofit Strategy and Partnership Development

Michael Courts, East Sussex Housing Partnership Lead for County Council Public Health presented slides - circulated with the minutes. Discussion questions:
• How could additional funding be best used to build skills and capacity within the local workforce to support retrofit activity?
• How can we ensure any investment over the next 2 years is sustained beyond the current funding period?
• What have been the strengths and challenges of partnership working so far?

Summary of discussion points raised by the group:
• Map existing provision in terms of training, funding opportunities, links with employers to identify gaps and opportunities
• Map existing data in relation to needs and demand in East Sussex, to enable businesses to plan a pipeline of delivery
• Consider linked specialisms, e.g. project management, surveyors, architects
• Consider mentorship and opportunities to enable the practical application of the curriculum
• Support recognition of EU qualifications to enable individuals from overseas to prequalify for courses
• Consider upskilling / refresher training
• Improve access to training, for example offering employer incentives, supporting back filling or offering courses outside of normal working hours
• Improve understanding of apprenticeships amongst employers
• Improve access to procurement frameworks for SMEs and local companies
• Link to existing work underway through ESCC to meet net zero target
• Make it easier for the public to access information and expertise around retrofit

Please send further points for consideration to

4. Working Groups – 22/23 wrap-up and going forward

WG1: Changing Perceptions
JC updated the group on key aspects that the group have been focusing on:
• Challenging ‘traditional’ views of the sector (gender, labour/physical work, unskilled, a living not a career).
• Updating careers information – decarbonisation of sector, use of IT/ high tech (BIM, 3-D modelling, drones) and FE/HE pathways e.g. Architecture, Quantity Surveying, Civil Engineering.
• Reviewing the best methods and resources for employers to engage with schools inspiring young people at events (jobs fairs, apprenticeship roadshows), and use of using QR codes, phone-based interactive quizzes and live presenting/demonstrating.
• Increasing presence of employers from the sector at events such as the Roadshows and Apprenticeship Graduation.

VP updated on this year’s Apprenticeship Graduation ceremony on 16 November 2023 at The Welcome Building Eastbourne, 6-8pm. Booking link for graduating apprentices will be launched this month and will be sent to the task group.

Cllr M noted that all employers should be introducing the idea of the Graduation ceremony at the start of an apprenticeship so they know they are aiming for this as part of completion.

WG2: Supporting Recruitment
MP presented slides circulated with the minutes. MP mentioned that there is quite over cross over with the Changing Perceptions group and there may be an opportunity to amalgamate the groups and continue with the good work that they have started.

WG3: Developing a curriculum for the future – Teacher Encounters event

CB showed a film of the Teacher Encounters event on 5th July, with employers leading workshops for college tutors, school-teachers and careers leaders.

Working Groups focus for 2023/24?
SM asked the group to consider the focus and members agreed the following:
• Merge WG1 (Changing Perceptions) & WG2 (Recruitment) for a further year – focus on recruitment esp engaging SMEs and on procurement contractors, getting women into construction & the future of the sector/Net Zero.
• A working group to focus on the Retrofit Partnership goals, led by MC.
• SM/CM/HB to agree and finalise groups and information to follow for members to opt to join WGs.
• PV noted need for coordination on funding sources and pipeline projects. The ESCC officers and college do some of this.
• SM noted a need to engage more employers on the task group - objective to get at least 4 more attending by December. Agreed CB/SM to draft letter/email from SM about benefits of joining; to be shared via Careers Hub Industry Champions, college employers, ESCC & D&B procurement and via local labour agreements.
ACTION: CB/SM to draft letter from SM about joining task group to be shared via Careers Hub, college, procurement contractors.

5. Careers Hub update

JC presented slides circulated with the minutes. Please contact the Careers Hub if you are interested in becoming an Industry Champion or Enterprise Adviser, hosting an Open Doors workplace visit or supporting the Primary Careers project. Contact:

6. Feedback from 19th July SES Board

CB fed back on SES meeting and priorities and reiterated that the work of the task groups is the engine ensuring the SES priorities are met.

7. AOB

PJ – Morgan Sindall doing lots of work to promote women in construction and keen to support this. PJ has previously shared a list of subcontractors to join the group.
ACTION: CB to follow up list of Morgan Sindall sub-contractors.

VP – re Apprenticeship Graduation, if anyone would be interested in being a sponsor, contact Also contact if any opportunities to promote the Transform programme.

Cllr M - Eco-build competition for Eastbourne primary schools completed in July and very successful. Planning to run again next week and opportunity to link with Careers Hub Primary pilot.

DC – DWP are now advertising vacancies on the Universal Credit system for customers. If any employers are interested in advertising in this way, please contact

ER – East Sussex College are delivering Sector-based Work Academies programmes (SWAPs) providing short course of employability skills, CSCS. Call out to employers to get involved and provide work experience, interviews and use SWAPs for recruitment.

The college are also delivering the Multiply programme to improve maths of people who don’t have GCSEs/Level 2 maths, 6 hours of training, £120 incentive for SMEs to release staff. What is needed for people in contraction. Feedback from the group: time sheets, rates of pay, tax. Flyer attached with minutes.

AB – will send information about Transform and task groups to D&B procurement contractors.

Date of Next Meeting: 1st November, 9.30-11.30 (agreed change to 2 hours)
Location: ESCG/OHM Energy Green Skills Training Hub.