CITB chief executive Peter Lobbin said the organisation had set itself a target of employing 100 new ethnic minorities and women in the industry in 2002 as a result of the initiative.
He said: "The industry must increase recruitment of ethnic minorities and women if it is to survive and grow."
The programme, which was launched last week at seminar in Morley, south Yorkshire, will begin with the Nashayman Project in Halifax. This will target young women of ethnic minorities using seminars, outward-bound activities and a 10-day CITB programme taster-course at Calderdale College.
The initiative will run alongside the CITB's controversial poster campaign, launched last month. The billboard and magazine adverts have targeted 14-19-year-old school leavers. They are using images of young construction workers pursuing a well respected and sexually fulfilling occupation.
The Paddington Regeneration Partnership's move is backed by the scheme's developers, including Development Securities and St George.