The fully integrated programme is designed to appeal to a diverse audience and will highlight why a career in building materials is different from a role in other industries, and the huge variety of careers it offers.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has begun the launch process for a long-term sector awareness communications programme to raise the public’s knowledge and understanding of the building materials industry, positioning it as a vital, varied, vibrant sector with a wide range of career opportunities for school and college leavers as well as for those looking to change career or to transfer their skills into a new area.

With the strapline “Materially Different” and messaging encouraging people to join the sector to help “Make a Material Difference”,  the campaign is designed to appeal to a diverse audience and will highlight why a career in building materials is different from a role in other industries, and the huge variety of careers it offers.

For the first time the programme defines the Building Materials sector, as one that involves the manufacture, import, distribution and sale of building materials and products, through merchants for construction, infrastructure, house building, property and RMI markets.

The main elements of the programme include a dynamic new careers website – which will include details of every BMF member - and a Toolkit providing guidance and assets for members to strengthen their employer brands. These have been unveiled to BMF members in advance of a national launch in the Autumn.

The programme has been developed by brand specialists CMDi working alongside the BMF executive and a working group of BMF members. The result is a cohesive campaign that every member can get behind and benefit from.

BMF Chairman Richard Hill said: “We work in a fantastic sector that offers excellent opportunities to the talented people working here. However, when it comes to attracting new talent we are competing with many other sectors. It is time that we championed the Building Materials sector to the rest of the construction industry and the public at large.  By initiating this campaign, and investing in the future of Building Materials, the BMF Board seeks to help and support our members in attracting the best recruits possible and ensure that our sector continues to develop and grow long into the future.”

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “By working together, we can shape and strengthen the future of our industry.  This is a long-term programme that will make our industry an employment destination rather than an after-thought. It is aimed at  career starters and career switchers, as well those already working in the sector.  If we are to attract, retain and grow talent we must build pride in our sector.

“We have had incredible input from those on the working team to get to this stage, but it’s time for every member to get on board to make this happen. The BMF Team is here to support members to make the most of the programme, but we need members’ help if we are  to drive recruitment in our industry and compete harder for talent.”

The BMF has called on each member to appoint a designated Campaign Owner to manage the programme within their business and to download the Toolkit so they can prepare and plan for the national launch. The Toolkit provides everything members need to put Building Materials on the map and attract talent. The BMF will be holding a series of webinars between May and August to help them utilise the materials within the Toolkit and get the most benefit from the campaign.

Members are also urged to submit company details, images and the career opportunities they offer so they can be uploaded to the new building careers website, which will act as a key pathway for those seeking information about the industry.  In addition to details of building materials employers across the country, the website will feature interviews with people working at every level within the industry, together with selfie videos and news content.  The website will launch in August for members to test in advance of the national launch in the Autumn.

Dianne Lucas, MD of CMDi said: “This not just a campaign, this is a fully integrated programme, designed to define, shape and launch Building Materials as a nationally recognised sector. We’ve approached this as the building of ‘brand Building Materials’, a £45 billion brand, vital to construction and the UK economy, a brand that is ‘Materially Different’. We’re changing perceptions and myth busting current negative perceptions, providing six powerful reasons to enter the sector, and making it accessible to all by creating one easy pathway in.”

Working group member Siobhan Lewis, Marketing Manager at Jewson said: “Building material providers are the backbone of the construction industry, supplying materials that form the foundation of every project. It's been great to witness colleagues from various organisations unite in a common goal of raising awareness of our significant contributions to the wider industry, highlighting the vital role we play in building communities and positioning the sector to attract the talent we need for future growth.”

Working group member Simon Gambrill, National Account Manager at ETEX Group, said: “I’m proud to have been part of this journey from the start, representing my company Etex, whilst being able to support this fantastic sector campaign for the BMF. It has been a real privilege. Working with industry peers and customers has helped my growth within the industry too. We will be using this campaign to highlight our roles and that this sector is and will continue to be a great place to build your career.” 

For further information, to provide contact details for their Campaign Owner, or to access the Toolkit members should contact Jeremy Harris at