Supply Chain School launches free Fairness, Inclusion and Respect Toolkit

16 November 2015

A CITB-funded e-learning tool to help construction employers promote “fairness, inclusion and respect” in the working environment has been launched by the Supply Chain School organisation, the Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association (CECA) and industry partners.

The Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Toolkit for construction consists of four “Toolbox talks” along with videos, information and a resource library that is available online.

The Supply Chain School recommends that directors, senior, site and team managers begin by utilising the e-learning module relevant to them. They can then cascade information down to the rest of the teams though the “Toolbox talks”, which each consists of a short film and a trainer script.

The online tool has been produced by the Supply Chain School and the CECA with part-funding from the CITB. Contractors Skanska, Bam Construction, Vinci, Interserve, Carillion and Graham, along with clients Network Rail, HS2 and Highways England, have also worked on the development of the Toolkit. 

According to figures quoted by the Supply Chain School, women make up 46% of the overall UK workforce but represent just 14.5% of the total in construction and just 1.2% in trades, and the proportion of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in the workforce is also significantly lower than within the working age population.

The aim of the Toolkit is to help the industry address its skills need by recruiting from the whole spectrum of the working population

The underlying aim, according to Supply Chain School’s chair Sean McCarthy OBE, is to make the industry a more comfortable place to work for a wider variety of people – and thereby help the industry address its skills need by recruiting from the whole spectrum of the working population.

McCarthy said: “Our industry has an image problem; we aren’t perceived as an attractive sector to join. We can’t continue to rely on ageing white men to meet our workforce needs, and I speak as one of that diminishing demographic.”

Kate Lloyd, fairness, inclusion and respect manager at CITB, said: “We need a workforce which reflects the population to ensure we are meeting the needs of our rich and increasingly diverse communities.”

“Everyone has a responsibility in promoting fairness, inclusion and respect in the construction workplace, whether on site or in an office,” she continued. “This new Toolkit, which we have helped fund, will provide accessible learning material to benefit the industry. The free Toolkit will assist companies to further develop their own practices so that they can become fairer, more inclusive and respectful.”

Nicky Ensert, diversity manager at Highways England, added: “We know that, because of the recession, the pipeline of talent isn’t as rich as we need it to be. So, we need companies that can attract people into the industry who might never have thought about it before. We want them to tap a diversity of talent, to enrich that workforce.”

The Toolkit is being launched with a series of events around the country hosted by Highways England, Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Network Rail and Skanska. Details of the events can be found here.

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