HS2 subbies have to sign up for diversity and inclusion training

All HS2 subcontractors and suppliers will be expected to “embed Diversity and Inclusion best practice across their business processes.”

Leaders of the £106bn project have launched HS2 Marketplace which allows suppliers of all sizes access diversity training and resources.

The HS2 Marketplace platform is designed and backed by diversity and inclusion consultant the Clear Company who have awarded HS2 their Clear Assured Platinum Standard accreditation.

More than 2,300 businesses have already won work on HS2 and thousands more are expected to join them as £25bn worth of contract opportunities flow out into the wider supply chain over the coming years.

Bidders will be expected to use the Marketplace platform to access training and resources to support them in meeting and evaluating progress against key performance indicators set by HS2.

The key performance indicators are:

Training for all colleagues on Diversity and Inclusion specifically, legal obligations, inclusive job design, inclusive talent sourcing, inclusive shortlisting, the inclusive interview and creating an evidence-based audit trailEffective monitoring of Diversity and Inclusion at each stage of the recruitment cycleA reasonable adjustments programme for colleagues and candidates that is proactive, timely and effectiveEvidence of attracting a diverse candidate pool from both traditional and non-traditional recruitment channelsEvidence of creating an inclusive working environment for colleagues including flexible working, colleague networks and objective performance managementThe use of accessible technology for application and assessment

An HS2 spokesperson said: “HS2 expects all its suppliers to act in a manner which is consistent with the HS2 Values. Each Tier 1 contractor has specific contractual requirements in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion which flow down to the sub-contractors that they work with.”

HS2’s seven construction partners have already introduced a number of practical measures to champion diversity, inclusion and employee wellbeing across their worksites.

Mace Dragados has implemented a new ‘Make it Stick’ campaign, which ensures that LGBT + trained allies are easily identifiable on site through high visibility stickers worn on their hard hats.

Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall (EKFB) has developed a bespoke programme of men’s and women’s health workshops, as well as creating wellbeing and prayer room spaces at its construction sites while the Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS) is upgrading its employee app to enable staff to capture, track and monitor EDI best practice.

Mark Lomas, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at HS2 said: “With two decades of construction work ahead of us HS2 is naturally placed to be a real driver for change, and we’ll achieve this by ensuring that every company engaged in delivering Britain’s new railway plays their part in setting a new EDI standard.

“HS2 Marketplace enables our suppliers to be confident that their practices and processes, from recruitment through to the workplace environment, are truly inclusive and follow the best practice standards we expect.”

HS2 said its supply chain is already performing well, with the number of disabled, Black and Ethnically Diverse, and female workers exceeding industry averages.

Kate Headley, Director of the Clear Company said: “Once again HS2 have demonstrated ground-breaking progress and innovation with the launch of the Marketplace platform.

“This is a significant step forward in creating a truly inclusive engineering sector and the constructive, supportive approach will enable HS2 suppliers to improve access to long term career opportunities, for all people, right across the sector.”

Race starts for £1.6bn NHS construction consultants deal

NHS Shared Business Services has started the bidding process for its long-awaited third-generation construction consultants framework.

More than 200 firms will face a fight to retain places on the £1.6bn framework ,which can be used by other qualifiying public clients.

Firms will battle for spots in 16 distinct consultancy services areas across a dozen regions of the UK.

The framework will also be divided into 11 value bands based on construction project value.

NHS SBS lotting for Construction Consultancy Services

Lot 1 Architectural Services

Lot 2 Project Management

Lot 3 Civil & Structural Engineering

Lot 4 Quantity Surveyor

Lot 5 Mechanical, Electrical and Public Health (MEP) Services

Lot 6 Principal Designer Services

Lot 7 Multidisciplinary Services

Lot 8 Building Surveyors

Lot 9 Health Care Planning

Lot 10 Modular Building & Modern Methods Of Construction (MMC) Consultancy

Lot 11 Digitalising Construction

Lot 12 Health and Safety

Lot 13 Environmental Consultancy

Lot 14 Net Zero, Energy Efficiency & Carbon Management Services

Lot 15 Fire Engineering

Lot 16 Ancillary Services

The new four-year consultancy framework will go live in April 2022. Firms have until 13 December to submit bids.

For more information click here.


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Go-ahead for £40m West Cumberland hospital phase 2

Copeland Borough Council has granted planning for the £40m phase 2 of West Cumberland Hospital’s planned redevelopment in Whitehaven.

Graham Construction will now start work on the two-storey extension project in the Spring.

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust developed ambitious plan to replace approximately 40% of the original structure at WCH and build upon the £90m phase 1 of the project which was completed in 2015.

The redevelopment includes a Specialist Pallative Care unit, a 24 bed ‘Step Down’ area as well as a Stroke and Rehabilitaion ward and a Short Stay Paediatric Assessment Unit, and 7 inpatient beds.

Graham will also carry out improvements to Block E and F with blocks Q and H being demolished to create parking and landscaped areas.

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Bidding starts for £600m animal science estate deal

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has opened the bidding for a new framework to deliver buildings for its Animal and Plant Health Agency science estate.

The Engineering Delivery Framework has been split into seven lots covering infrastructure, building construction and design.

DEFRA estimates successful firms will share around £600m of spend at the main estate in Weybridge, Surrey as well as the regional labs at Starcross, Camarthen, Penrith, Newcastle, Shrewsbury, Bury St Edmonds, Sutton Bonnington and Lasswade.

SED Framework

Lot 1: M&E heavy design, build, installation and refurbishments projects  inside the containment laboratory environment

Lot 2: General building works outside of containment areas

Lot 3: Site infrastructure, including earthworks and utilities

Lot 4: Security Systems, including engineering work for CCTV installations and repair and maintenance

Lot 5:  Delivery of biowaste effluent treatment plants

Lot 6: Multiple Discipline Design Services

Lot 7: Professional Services, specifically PM and cost management services for construction projects


Bid documents, which can be found on the web portal should be returned by 1 December.

The new line-up of engineering partners will come into force from 1 September 2022 and run for four years.

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