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Fortel, one of the UK Largest Labour Suppliers

Fortel Services Ltd. is a British based construction services business headquartered in London that provides workforce to the construction and civil engineering industries. The company delivers sub-contract work and human resources services to the roads & highways, hotel, commercial, retail, and rail sectors.

It has been on the market for the last 20 years. It has received multiple awards, such as the MSDUK SaleUp award, Walsall Works Bronze Partnership award, and finalists in The Growing Business Awards and finalists in The British Construction Industry Awards.


The company was founded by its present chairman, Shinda Nijjer, in 1998, after more than 20 years in the construction industry. He started working as a labourer, and he grew his way up. The owner of Fortel has been a significant shareholder in Fortel, and it wasn’t until 2012 when he became chief executive. Also, the Fortel owner is involved in the economic development of Walsall Borough through a seat the Walsall Economic Board, an Alumni Member of The Sunday Times Fast Track 100, and Vice-Chairman of the Asian Sports Foundation. One of Fortel’s new eclectic slogans has been ‘We bring teams to you and hit the ground digging, so we’re more productive.’

John Pilkington is the Vice-Chairman to Fortel, and he joined the team in 2012. He brings not less than 40 years of experience with major international companies such as Ove Arup, Tarmac, Carillion, and Amey, where he was Managing Director of the Investments business and led the Strategic Development Unit. Since he was trained as a structural engineer, John Pilkington chaired the CBI’s working group on PFI for three years and was seconded to the DFES to help design the Building Schools for the Future program. He now provides strategic advice to a range of clients, particularly concerning sustaining effective public-private partnerships.

Sat Nijjer joined the team in 2005 as operations director and he is the Chief Executive of Fortel in the present. His education includes a BSc in Computer Science and a career in investment banking with the US company, Bear Stearns. Since he was a significant shareholder in Fortel, he later became chief executive in 2012. He is involved in the economic development of Walsall Borough through a seat the Walsall Economic Board, an Alumni Member of The Sunday Times Fast Track 100, and Vice-Chairman of the Asian Sports Foundation. He is married with three children and is an avid Manchester United fan.

Ian Smith is the finance person. He was appointed to the board back in 2014, following more than 20 years of experience in senior finance roles. He has spent over ten years in the construction sector, including three years as FD of the UK’s largest in-situ concrete flooring contractor. Before stepping into construction domain, he had several senior positions in multiple financial service institutions, such as the West Bromwich Building Society.

Andy Berry works in the Labour Supply & Recruitment department. He is an engineer with 35 years of experience in companies such as Principal Contractors, Network Rail, and London Underground. He spent ten years in Carillion’s recruitment business, SkyBlue initially heading their Rail business and ultimately running Carillion Managed Service. His experience for both Carillion and Volker Fitzpatrick gives him a real insight into what’s required by our customers in terms of quality and value for money. Andy has a particular interest in the use of technology for the control of the purchase to pay process and is a BSc of Combined Engineering and holds IOSH Safety and Risk Management.

Amar Sandhawalia works in the FM department. He graduated in Aerospace Engineering (BEng) at Queen Mary University of London, Amar joined Chartered Accountants Bowker Orford of Cavendish Place, London – working swiftly towards being a member of the Association of Tax Technicians. In 2011 he was recruited by Fortel, and therefore joined the company as Financial Accounts Manager. Then he got through a succession of internal promotions up to the point he was appointed to the board in 2014. As Vice-Chairman of the Employment and Skills Board of Walsall Council, he is passionate about supporting the local community. Also, Amar is a keen follower of cricket, and holds a certificate from IRCA in Quality Management Systems Auditing.

Lyn Redsell now works in Governance & Wellbeing department. She has worked for Fortel for many years before getting to this point, and she acts as the Company Secretary. She got the promotion as Head of Governance and Wellbeing in 2014; she is leading innovative initiatives to ensure Fortel’s growing workforce is both compliant and happy. She has substantial experience in the wholesale, retail, manufacturing, and construction industries, holds CIPD, IOSH and IIRSM memberships, and is accredited by organizations including AAT, BTEC, NEBOSH, IOSH, and ROSPA.

Trading successfully since 1998, Fortel celebrated its 20th anniversary with 20 charitable fundraising events to promote its values and ethos throughout its business. ‘By improving our workforce, we’re investing in yours’ has been one of their crucial eclectic moto’s of late.


Fortel offers a safe pair of hands, routinely working with notable names and in high-pressure situations. They’ve successfully delivered projects in a wide range of environments around the country, with particular experience in several critical sectors.

  • Roads & Motorways Rail
  • Retail Defence
  • Commercial Power
  • Utilities Hotel & Leisure


Company mission

Throughout their 20-year history, Fortel has developed three distinct operating models:

  • People – individuals and teams to work under your supervision.
  • Projects – delivering specific contracts for a pre-agreed price.
  • Process outsourcing – ongoing support for your labour requirements.

Unlike many labour suppliers, they are not a CV farm but assess and select each applicant individually to make them part of the team. Fortel aims to look after all of their people properly, though industry-leading pay and conditions, comprehensive training, and a strong commitment to their wellbeing, as well as language training for those whose mother tongue isn’t English.

Company vision

Supported by state-of-the-art labour management technology that provides clarity and transparency while improving efficiency, Fortel’s open-book approach is designed to be fair to clients, to them, and throughout their supply chain.

  • Assured delivery

Fortel’s whole way of working is designed to guarantee the Right First Time delivery of a client’s project. They aim to give clients the confidence to take risks and to expect the best experience in regard of meeting schedules and budgets. An utterly safe pair of hands throughout the UK and in any sector.

  • Productivity

In general, Fortel transports fully briefed and qualified teams to project sites, which means they can get to work immediately. This is why theyhave more productive hours in a day, often using fewer men, which makes clients save money. Fortel does great work, efficiently, and sustainably, which helps clients make faster and more significant progress.

  • Technology

The use of the latest staff and payroll management technology provides clarity and efficiency while offering an open book approach. By allowing Fortel to plan effectively, their bespoke ‘LEAF’ IT systems maintain continuity with their workers. This way, it’s saving clients and owners time and money by enabling them to redeploy their most experienced people where they are most needed as new projects arise.

  • Value

Fortel is convinced that the best value is rarely merely equal to the lowest price. So their services aim to deliver consistently high quality and productivity for the fairest rate they can make it. This means Fortel offers the best value of any supplier in its sector.

  • Safety

Fortel’s track record in safe working is second to none, and they’ve been singled out by significant contractors for their performance. Training and Educating their people in critical areas such as Health and Safety, PPE, Drugs and Alcohol, and the English language, so they don’t waste time on site relearning the basics, which saves clients money.

  • Legal compliance

When it comes to legal sector, extreme rigor is necessary into vetting and assessing the people. Therefore clients will never experience issues related to work permits or work status, or even the qualification of staff. Fortel effectively manages all aspects of HR and PAYE, so they can get started with the job immediately. This is done with the minimum of admin and red tape required from clients.

  • Accreditations

CITB Construction Skills, UK Trade & Investment, Building Confidence, Family Business Proud, RISQS, NGA, National Federation of Builders, Builder’s Profile, Construction Line, Concrete society, Constructing Better Health, SIA Approved Contractor, CCAS