One of the UK’s largest homebuilders has spoken out about the lack of diversity in construction, and has called for a more inclusive industry.
Taylor Wimpey, which provides work for more than 15,000 staff and subcontractors, will be working with the CITB – the Industrial Training Board (ITB) for the construction industry in Great Britain – to address the diversity challenges facing the industry, and is supporting CITB’s Be Fair framework accreditation, to be launched in June 2014.
The Be Fair Framework is being developed by the industry, for the industry, to create inclusive working environments which support not only individuals but also other companies across construction and the built environment sector.
The Framework aims to address negative cultures and practices to create a fair, inclusive and respectful industry for everyone.
Taylor Wimpey Chief Executive Pete Redfern said: “We strongly believe that having a diverse workforce is not just the right thing to do but offers clear business benefits.
“It helps us to attract and retain the best people with the broadest range of talent and makes sure that our staff, who come from a variety of backgrounds, age groups and career paths, can relate to the communities that we work with and offer the best service.
“With 19% of construction workers reaching retirement age within the next decade, we will have a huge gap to fill. We need to invest today to ensure that we have the right skills, expertise and drive to meet the ever growing demand for new homes in the future, and this can only be achieved by attracting a much wider range of candidates than has been done in the industry before.”
Traditionally, construction is seen as a ‘job for the boys’, with Taylor Wimpey taking the lead in challenging this perception through a variety of tailor-made initiatives – targeted recruitment campaigns to attract candidates, from a variety of ethnic and professional backgrounds and across different age groups is one example.
Also in addition to continuing their trade apprenticeship schemes, Taylor Wimpey has recently launched a new site management specific apprenticeship scheme to tackle skills shortage in the industry, aiming to attract around 100 new site management apprentices by the end of 2015 through the scheme.
Judy Lowe, Deputy Chairman at CITB “Support from industry leaders like Taylor Wimpey is what we need to address the issue of diversity within construction.
“For example, women have made up only 12% of the industry for the last decade and with confidence in construction growing, we need 182,000 qualified construction workers in the next five years to meet the skills demand.
“That’s why we need to attract the best and brightest talent to our industry regardless of gender and background.
“Like Taylor Wimpey, CITB is taking action by introducing the BeFair framework to help create more inclusive working environments, both in office and on sites, to ensure that all workers are treated fairly and with respect.”