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Training Excellence: Finalists

All nine of these shortlisted companies have invested heavily in skills and raised the bar for the industry through their innovations and commitment.

CN Awards 2018 Training Keltbray Group

CN Awards 2018 Training Keltbray Group

Keltbray Group

Keltbray’s in-house training and development department delivered more than 62,000 hours of training and assessment in 2017, equal to 40 hours for each employee, investing £2.4m through its four certified training centres. There are more than 200 apprentices and trainees currently in the business, representing one in 15 of Keltbray’s total workforce.

The company provided more than 1,000 hours of training to disadvantaged candidates, as well as jobs and opportunities for 23 local or long-term unemployed people. On its major Battersea Power Station project, Keltbray has employed 11 apprentices as part of its work – more than double its contractual requirement.

CN Awards 2018 Training Kier

CN Awards 2018 Training Kier


Last year saw the roll-out of the Kier Development Academy, which looks to provide wide-ranging, accessible training via a range of channels and resources. The number of apprentices employed hit a record 362 in 2017, with a further 250 planned this year.

Recognising the industry’s issues around diversity, Kier has implemented an unconscious bias e-learning package across all its businesses, and developed an interactive board game to raise awareness among staff using real-life scenarios. The group is also sponsoring more than 70 full-time students through university, offering them summer and holiday work placements.

CN Awards 2018 Training Laing O Rourke

CN Awards 2018 Training Laing O Rourke

Laing O’Rourke

Laing O’Rourke has devised a suite of training programmes with a focus on interactivity. The contractor points to its exceptionally wide range of training methods, using psychometrics and peer feedback to improve employee behaviours.

As well as conventional approaches, Laing O’Rourke employs activities as varied as sheep-herding and yurt-building, while also partnering with social enterprises to give trainees different experiences and perspectives.

Nearly 300 operatives have attended the company’s six-day Transforming Project Leadership programme in its Wiltshire training centre, with higher staff engagement recorded as a result.

National Grid

Eight separate skills form the basis of National Grid’s strategy, with 70 per cent of its training being on the job, 20 per cent coaching and support, and 10 per cent formal training.

Mental health has also been high on the company’s agenda, with every one of its 150 line managers attending a mental health first aid training course.

Its construction development programme aims to attract people from a wider background, potentially those with limited work experience or qualifications, to train them in technical skills. Its National Grid Academy meanwhile offers courses to the client’s supply chain and the wider industry.

CN Awards 2018 Training Natta Building Company

CN Awards 2018 Training Natta Building Company

Natta Building Company

In 2017 Natta Building Company completed a new 6,000 sq ft facility that increased its training capacity by 400 per cent. The company has also commenced work on a new 1.6 ha plant training site, which will allow it to offer a fuller range of courses.

The firm is taking 16 Guildford College trainees through its master groundworker course, each of whom have been given dedicated mentors on site to conduct their training.

Natta’s focus on operative skills has resulted in 75 per cent of all its engineers, managers and quantity surveyors having been through or being currently on one of the firm’s accredited training schemes.

CN Awards 2018 Training Network Rail

CN Awards 2018 Training Network Rail

Network Rail

Last year Network Rail’s IP Track division put its workers through 6,500 days of training following the roll-out of various new initiatives. It has extended its in-house training and development programmes to the supply chain, which includes 2,000 contracting partners.

Injuries and incidents were described as disappointing in the first half of 2017, prompting Network Rail to further increase its efforts on health and safety training. This resulted in the roll-out of one-day interactive briefings delivered nationally in site cabins and offices. Feedback was positive and injuries subsequently dropped from 41 in the first half of the year to 23 in the second half, while lost-time injuries fell from 10 to just one.

CN Awards 2018 Training NG Bailey

CN Awards 2018 Training NG Bailey

NG Bailey

Around 10 per cent of NG Bailey’s 3,000 employees are former apprentices, and the company has brought in 51 new apprentices to take its total to 150.  More than 5,100 training days were delivered in 2017 and £3m invested in various programmes, which include 14 different apprenticeship qualifications.

The company has also implemented its Leadership, Engagement and Performance programme in light of employees requesting more structured programmes to improve line management. More than 500 employees have taken part so far in the programme, which comprises a two-day workshop and a suite of e-learning modules.

CN Awards 2018 Training O Donovan Waste Disposal

CN Awards 2018 Training O Donovan Waste Disposal

O’Donovan Waste Disposal

O’Donovan headquarters also serves as a registered training centre, enabling the company to carry out its own in-house training. Managing director Jacqueline O’Donovan is also a qualified trainer, supporting a workforce of 160 with the help of five multi-lingual mentors.

Among its achievements, O’Donovan has designed its own approved driver competence qualification tailored to the industry and its drivers’ responsibilities. The company shares the course with other companies to promote best practice in its sector.

Its overall training is credited with reducing accidents by 25 per cent and cutting its fleet’s carbon emissions by 21.5 per cent.

CN Awards 2018 Training Tideway in partnership with ATT

CN Awards 2018 Training Tideway in partnership with ATT

Tideway, in partnership with ATT (Active Training Team)

The £4.2bn Thames Tideway Tunnel is a 25 km sewer that employs 4,000 workers directly and around 5,000 more through its supply chain. Its Employer Project Induction Centre sees inductees witness a reconstruction of a fatal onsite incident, with attendance mandatory for every person who works on the project.

Tideway invested significantly in the induction, with total costs for the initiative running at approximately £110,000 a month. Since its launch, the induction has been completed by more than 10,000 workers, with 95 per cent of participants reporting that they would be more confident in challenging poor health and safety as a result.

Sponsored by NOCN

CN Awards 2018 sponsors_NOCN logo

CN Awards 2018 sponsors_NOCN logo

NOCN is a leading international Awarding Organisation and government-approved End Point Assessment Organisation, and is the second-largest awarding organisation in the UK construction sector.  

The company aims to be at the forefront of vocational skills development and apprenticeships, including the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in the UK.

NOCN says it was the first awarding organisation to be given the Leader in Diversity award by the National Centre for Diversity.

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