UK Construction Week to focus on industry mental health

UK Construction Week to focus on industry mental health

Mental health and culture change within the built environment sector will take centre stage as UK Construction Week — the UK’s largest built environment event — convenes in Birmingham next week.

Returning to the NEC from October 3rd-5th, the three-day construction show will welcome over 25,000 visitors, with key focuses on sustainability, culture change, building safety, digital construction, robotics and mental health, and feature over 6,000 products and services.

In the Sustainability Hub, Anita Malster, owner of Blossom Training, and Kate Walker, CEO of Diabetes Safety Organisation, will host ‘Good or Ill: Mental & Physical Health in the industry’. The session will highlight how the built environment sector has the highest suicide rate of any industry, as well as Kier Highways’ new approach to diabetes safety on site.

Within the Offsite Alliance Hub, Danny Clare, commercial director at the National Federation of Builders, will host a seminar on ‘The Silent Pandemic’. It suggests that, in a field predominantly represented by men, an underlying culture has developed that stigmatises discussions about mental health and undermines its significance.

Anita Malster will host another seminar on the second day of UKCW within the CPD Hub: ‘Are we talking about mental health or are we talking about life?’ It recognises the construction sector is undertaking a shift. While physical health and workplace safety takes priority, it’s essential to provide the same level of care and support for construction workers’ mental health.

The Culture Change Hub, in partnership with NFB and supported by Building People, will focus on improving employee wellbeing, better inclusivity within the built environment and tackling work-life balance and diversity.

‘Keynote on Inclusive Behaviours’ is a unique opportunity to hear from Marsha Ramroop, the former director of inclusion at the Royal Institute of British Architects and the executive director for equity, diversity and inclusion at Building People, who will give a keynote on cultural intelligence and inclusive behaviours within the construction and built environment sector.

There will also be a recruitment panel comprising Ms Ramroop with Sarah Chilcott, managing director of Planning Portal; Clare Addy, head of partnerships at Causeway Education; and Mary Suphi, deputy director of Bounce Back. The panel will discuss the meaning of what it is to develop inclusive behaviours that can change the recruitment processes and frameworks that can be adopted to ensure fair and equitable recruitment.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, said: “This year’s fantastic line-up of speakers really sets the stage for what the show has in store for in 2023.

“As the UK’s largest event bringing all parts of the industry together, is the place to learn from those shaping this rapidly-changing industry. We’ll tackle key issues head on and with the strong and innovative seminar and speakers programme this year, and we are proud of the diverse subjects on the agenda.”

To register for UKCW Birmingham for free, go to UKCW Birmingham Registrations. You can also follow along on Twitter at @uk_cw and #UKCW2023.

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