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NTU Joins Forces With Construction Experts to Launch New Community Mentoring Portal

UK-based SMEs and micro-business owners working in the construction industry supply chain are set to receive free mentoring and support via a new online community portal involving Nottingham Trent University.

NTU joins forces to roll out online community with free mentoring and workshops

The Innovation Driven Procurement (IDP) Community, which is set to go live this month, will offer advice from industry experts and academics, as well as courses and group discussions. The aim is to help the construction industry become more collaborative by making it easier to solve productivity, quality, and operational challenges faced by those in the supply chain.

The community is an extension to the IDP Project, and was created in partnership between NTU, Morgan Sindall Construction and the CITB. Originally being delivered face-to-face on Midlands-based, public sector builds, this training and support is now being rolled out online to all UK-contractors and their supply chain.

It offers a chance for businesses to share a challenging problem within their operations and get support in terms of innovation to resolve it. Some 40 companies will receive additional support with one-to-one coaching and mentoring and become Innovation Champions.

To support this, the IDP has also released four online courses that are now open to registration on the Supply Chain Sustainability School’s portal. Modules focus on collaborative behaviours and design, risk management and innovation and value.

The community is managed by experienced Construction Coach, Maria Coulter, who specialises in working with SME and micro-business owners to help them grow stronger, more profitable, and happier businesses.

Explaining the decision to launch the mentorship community portal, Maria said:

“It’s a really challenging time for industry as profit margins are being squeezed due to inflation, energy prices and skills shortages. If you’re a business owner, investing your time in this community is a fantastic way to receive free, tailored support and training.

“We are delighted to invite leaders to share ideas together for the greater good of the supply chain. We look forward to hearing people’s experiences and ideas and welcome our first Innovation Champions who will become excellent examples to the industry.”

Responding to NTU's involvement in the project, Dr Andrew Knight, Executive Dean of the School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment (ADBE), said:

“We are excited to launch the next stage of the IDP with Maria who is an expert in her field and expanding the reach of the excellent training to improve collaboration, productivity and innovation.

“By working together with our project partners and extending this to the wider industry,  we are showing what can be achieved when we put our minds together to achieve a common goal. Ultimately, we want to improve the supply chain - which will ultimately help the delivery of projects and leave a lasting legacy."

The community will run online from September through to March 2023, with resources available to download.

The IDP is also launching an app for site workers to access and develop their skills 'on the go'.

To find out more and register for the IDP Community portal, please visit:

Follow IDP on Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • Notes for editors

    The IDP 

    The IDP is one of four pilot projects which together received £3m in funding from the CITB and are expected to achieve £25m in savings. The procurement schemes involve 1,900 construction employers and will focus on collaboration to mitigate risk, and an emphasis on quality and whole life outcomes, not just time spent.

    Over three years, the IDP will include a programme of 120 face to face training interactions, 165 virtual training interactions, 51 innovation projects facilitated and supported, and 48 innovation mentors trained.

    Morgan Sindall Construction

    Morgan Sindall Construction is a UK business with a network of local offices. Project capabilities cover the entire range of construction activities, from special works and repair and maintenance, to major landmark schemes delivered as standalone projects or as part of larger multiple project frameworks. The company operates across the public and private sectors to deliver the social infrastructure around us – from schools, universities and hospitals to retail, office and leisure environments. Morgan Sindall Construction is part of Morgan Sindall Group plc, a leading UK construction and regeneration group with revenue of c£3.2 billion and which operates through six divisions of Construction & Infrastructure, Fit Out, Property Services, Partnership Housing, Urban Regeneration and Investments.

    Nottingham Trent University 

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    The Research Excellence Framework (2021) classed 83% of NTU’s research activity as either world-leading or internationally excellent. 86% of NTU’s research impact was assessed to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

    NTU was ranked second best university in the UK in the Uni Compare Top 100 rankings (2021/2022). It was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards), University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is the 5th largest UK institution by student numbers, with nearly 39,000 students and more than 4,400 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 7,000 and an NTU community representing over 160 countries.

    Since 2000, NTU has invested £570 million in tools, technology, buildings and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2021 UCAS UG acceptance data) It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was the first UK university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge.

    75% of NTU students go on to graduate-level employment or graduate-entry education / training within fifteen months of graduating (Guardian University Guide 2021).

    NTU is ranked 4th most sustainable university in the world and 1st in the UK for sustainability-themed Education and Research in the 2021 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

    About CITB: 

    The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is a sector skills council and industry training board for the construction industry, delivering a safe, professional and fully qualified workforce by encouraging employers of all sizes to access the skills training necessary to grow their businesses.

    CITB is an arm’s-length body of the UK Government’s Department for Education and is paid for by a levy on the construction industry itself.

Published on 14 September 2022
  • Subject area: Architecture and civil engineering
  • Category: School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment