Sir Robert McAlpine to embark on diversity transformation programme

A partnership between Sir Robert McAlpine, City of Glasgow College and Equate Scotland has been launched to support construction businesses throughout the UK to attract and retain more women in the industry.

Sir Robert McAlpine to embark on diversity transformation programme

The ‘Inclusive Value’ project, which is being funded by the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), delivers a free-to-use online self-assessment tool to support construction businesses to identify ways in which they can adopt more inclusive workplace practices. 

The tool is accompanied by a range of support materials including a best practice guide, case studies and industry benchmarking data. 

The UK construction industry contributes £138 billion annually to the national economy and employs over three million people. It is recognised as a diverse sector that delivers homes, services and vital infrastructure and impacts on the life of every person in Britain.

However, the diversity of work carried out by the industry is not reflected in the diversity of the workforce with women making up less than 15% of the workforce.

As the industry responds to an increasingly fast-paced modernisation agenda and growing skills gaps, it will need a more diverse workforce that is representative of wider society.

Paul Hamer, chief executive of Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “We are proud to sponsor the ‘Inclusive Value’ project. We believe this is an important initiative that will truly benefit the construction industry as a whole. Currently, only 11% of the construction workforce are women, and, within this, women make up only 1% of modern apprentices and site workers.

“This is something that needs to be addressed. With a growing skills shortage, organisations within the construction industry need to act now to encourage more women to view this as a great career choice. At Sir Robert McAlpine, we are committed to leading by example on inclusion and inspiring industry-wide change.”

Jennifer Smart, business relationship manager at CSIC, said: “In an industry where there is demand for new housing and infrastructure provision to meet government targets, it is essential that companies develop the right culture to attract and retain women to address the gender gap.

“This CSIC funded project with Sir Robert McAlpine, City of Glasgow College and Equate Scotland have created a toolkit to support this journey to a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”

Douglas Morrison, associate director of innovation and STEM at City of Glasgow College, added: “The construction industry has been tackling sector attractiveness issues for some time. The progressive approach that Sir Robert McAlpine is taking to catalyse meaningful change in the gender diversity of the industry is truly inspiring.

“This project will support a wide range of construction businesses to make meaningful and impactful change that will support both current and future employees to realise the benefits of a career in construction.”

Talat Yaqoob, director at Equate Scotland, said: “Construction is a crucial sector to Scotland’s economic growth as such it is important that women have access to employment and equal opportunities at all levels. With a widening skills gap and an ageing workforce, it is both an economic and social priority for the industry to address the gender imbalance.

“We know that a diverse workforce is good for business but it is not always clear on how to achieve this. This tool will enable employers to take practical steps towards creating workplace cultures that foster diversity, inclusion and innovation.”

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