Demand for construction workers has reached a 20 year high – with 33,000 job vacancies for the period of April to June.
But with a huge shortage of skilled labour within the construction sector, and over 100,000 people fewer working in the sector this year compared to last year, there’s clearly a disconnect. And there’s a clear pool of untapped talent out there. Because let’s be honest. There’s almost no diversity in construction.
It is time for change.
- Women comprise roughly 15% of the UK construction sector, with approximately 2% working on-site.
- BAME employees account for 6% of the workforce.
- Employees with disabilities account for 6% of the workforce.
- 60% of LGBTQ+ employees have encountered homophobic and derogatory terms at work.
What are companies doing?
In good news, HS2 re-vamped their careers website to tackle the lack of diversity, to make it more accessible and encourage a wider audience to apply. There is a need for change, recruiting employees for a workforce that represents the true diversity of the UK. Other organisations that are trying to address this gap have introduced buddy systems to help give extra support to women entering the industry from more senior women in the industry, or have set up internal committees and support groups to improve minority representation and encouragement.
Why is this important?
Well, if you are part of a minority group in construction, it’s good news, HS2 will have over £25bn worth of contracts, and that means more jobs available in the coming years. And other companies are likely to begin to follow suit – with more organisations looking at how to improve their hiring processes to be fairer and attract more women and minority groups.
Yeah, but what about everyone else?
More companies will be following the much-needed changes, offering more opportunities. So don’t feel like you can’t succeed in this male-dominated industry, we know that sucks. More mentorship, more support, and more role models are on the horizon!
What are HS2 doing now?
- Training for all colleagues on Diversity and Inclusion
- Effective monitoring of Diversity and Inclusion at each stage of the recruitment cycle
- An adjustments programme for colleagues and candidates.
- Evidence of attracting a diverse candidate pool from both traditional and non-traditional recruitment channels.
- Creating an inclusive working environment for staff.
- Accessible technology for application and assessment
If your business can’t afford the swanky software, maybe consider a blind CV process? Removing all the personal details from a CV can help judge more impartially, using skills, rather than attributes. If you want to read more about diverse hiring practices, check out our blog post!
What we know is that the lack of diversity in construction can’t continue if the sector is going to keep up with the demand. It’s time for a change!