Sector needs to adopt “new way of thinking” to attract more diverse workforce

THE Contracting Division of building materials supplier Aggregate Industries has revealed the construction industry needs to adopt a “new way of thinking” in order to attract more females and young people into operational roles.

Paddy Murphy, managing director of contracting services at the business, said attracting a more diverse workforce is no longer just about addressing gender equality, but is “increasingly an essential part of building the highly skilled and trained workforce we require to meet the government’s ambitious plans for upgrading the UK’s road infrastructure”.

He added, “In order to make a meaningful impact in driving recruitment in what is traditionally a man’s world, the industry must adopt new techniques to better accommodate a diverse range of people. This starts with a root and branch approach, one that looks at changes that must be made to behaviours, working conditions, equipment and recruitment policies.”

Aggregate Industries believes much of the equipment and machinery used in construction such as rollers and pavers are “old fashioned” with features such as manual controls and hard-to-reach entry points.

Paddy added, “By incorporating measures such as upgrading to more captivating automated machine controls; folding steps; and all-round vision into all equipment and machinery going forward, is just one of the ways to ensure our working environment is inclusive.

“Meanwhile, to make it easier to spot and nurture talent other policies to consider are increasing the visibility of operational roles with a variety of audiences and removing gender bias in recruitment. We are attending schools and colleges and encourage a 50/50 split of male and female candidates during the interview stages when recruiting for new operational-related roles. After all, with studies showing firms with a diverse workforce boast better business performance, it is now more important than ever to address diversity and inclusion if we are to retain our position as a world-class industry that leads the way in innovation.”