The ECITB has set up a new taskforce to support greater diversity and inclusion in the engineering construction industry.

The industry, which designs, builds, maintains and decommissions major UK infrastructure, currently has a workforce that is 88% male with low BAME representation. This means employers are missing out on the business benefits a diverse talent pool provides, including a broader range of views and experiences across the workforce, which in turn will increase performance and innovation.

To mark its commitment to bring about change across the industry workforce, the ECITB has announced it will create an Inclusion, Diversity, Equality and Action taskforce (IDEA). This follows a pledge in January by the Government-sponsored skills body to provide £500,000 of grant support over three years to fund diversity and inclusion training for industry managers and staff.

As well as training, IDEA will help ensure diversity and inclusion awareness is embedded in ECITB training standards, raise awareness and showcase diversity in action and promote the industry as an appealing career choice for individuals regardless of gender and ethnicity.

Chris Claydon - ECITB Chief Executive

Chris Claydon

Chris Claydon, Chief Executive of the ECITB, said: “A diverse and inclusive workforce is integral to operating a sustainable and successful business. The ECITB is committed to supporting industry to develop inclusive workplaces where employees can reach their full potential and individual differences are valued and respected.

“Although large parts of industry are struggling at the moment, demand for new skilled workers will grow as the sector recovers. It is crucial that the industry harnesses this opportunity to increase workforce diversity. The IDEA taskforce will explore how we can encourage more female, BAME and LGBT+ candidates, as well as candidates with disabilities and those who are coming from more deprived areas, to embark on careers in engineering construction.”

Lynda Armstrong - ECITB Chair

Lynda Armstrong

Lynda Armstrong, Chair of the ECITB, said: “The ECITB’s vision for enhancing workplace diversity and inclusiveness reflects the need for an industry that attracts and retains people from the widest possible talent pool. We are going through challenging times at the moment, but as we emerge from this crisis there is an opportunity to do things differently and truly transform our industry.”

The IDEA taskforce, which will have ECITB Board member representation, will be chaired by Beccy Pleasant, Head of Nuclear at the ECITB. The taskforce will follow the best practice of other professional engineering institutions in promoting diversity and inclusion and assessing progress, including the Royal Academy of Engineering D&I Progression Framework.

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