A suite of new learning materials covering inclusive leadership, recruitment and training and developed by industry leaders have been made freely available to the UK construction sector.
The Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) programme is an industry-wide initiative, part-funded by the training board CITB; and developed by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) and the Supply Chain Sustainability School with a steering group of leading stakeholders.
The programme provides free training and resources, guidance, and materials, that support businesses to be more innovative and profitable by addressing workplace culture challenges and attracting and retaining people from the full pool of talent.
The timing was chosen to mark the beginning of National Inclusion Week (28 September-4 October 2020).
The resources include three new workshops, on:
These workshops are accompanied by newly developed E-Learning modules, on:
- Understanding Invisible Disabilities
- Managing Challenging Conversations
- Race and Intercultural Competence Parts 1&2.
Sarah Beale, CITB chief executive, said: 'Even before the pandemic, construction recruitment faced the challenges of an ageing workforce with a real lack of diversity and the pending implications of Brexit, so it is more important than ever to build inclusive cultures across all parts of our industry.
'These resources will help drive the positive change we need to attract new entrants from a wide range of backgrounds to our sector, and ensure construction is the rewarding career we know it to be for everyone.'
Andy Mitchell CBE, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council, said: 'National Inclusion Week is an opportune moment to remind everyone that not only is there a moral case for driving inclusive cultures in the construction industry, but that there is a business case for it as well.
'Inclusive workplace cultures are more productive, innovative, and profitable. Promoting a culture of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) can bring benefits to businesses of all sizes and helps attract and retain people from the full pool of talent in the UK workforce.
'There has been positive cultural change across our sector in recent years, but it is beholden to us all to remember that we always have more to learn and things we can improve. These new resources are a welcome addition to the already extensive range of FIR materials that are available, and we hope their uptake will be as wide as possible by businesses at all levels of the UK supply chain.'