Sectors - Civil

CSIC Launches New Diversity Initiative

Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) has announced the launch of its new initiative which will promote diversity and inclusion throughout the construction industry, with targeted support for the industry’s multitude of SMEs.

Through its DIveIN training and development programme, CSIC will give businesses the tools and skills they need to establish or enhance their diversity and inclusion offering to staff. The programme will also be tailored to the stage of business they organisations involved are at.

The 12-month programme has been developed via a partnership with Equate Scotland, which previously worked with the likes of Balfour Beatty, Morrison Construction, CALA Homes and Historic Environment Scotland.

SMEs account for around 95% of Scotland’s construction sector, and the programme has been tailored specifically to provide them with the advice and guidance to implement real change. Whilst COVID-19 has shifted priorities toward industry recovery, the DIveIN programme will support and encourage businesses to promote diversity and inclusion by ensuring that these remain an important topic for 2021 against the backdrop of Brexit and the challenge of Coronavirus-related restrictions.

There will be a series of 12 workshops, discussion forums and virtual events focusing on raising awareness and sharing best practice from organisations both large and small, including any cross-over with academia, and participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the programme.

The first event took place on 26th January 2021 and set the scene as well as introducing the participating organisations to the opportunities and support available to help build a diverse and dynamic workforce.

Speakers included Amanda McKay from Balfour Beatty, who discussed her experience of being transgender within the construction industry. Emily Carr of FourWard Architecture and Masterplanning shared her insights as an early career professional, while Michael Divers from Sir Robert McAlpine spoke about his experience delivering a large-scale culture change programme.

Douglas Morrison, CSIC’s Director of Operations and Future Skills, said: “Diversity and inclusion should be viewed as an opportunity for the construction industry, rather than a challenge. Building a diverse workforce can only be viewed as a positive and encouraging new skills and talent to enter the sector will undoubtedly bring new ideas that can aid growth and development. The industry has been making moves in the right direction, but with a dedicated programme of support we’re hoping to build on that momentum, particularly focusing on SMEs to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to make meaningful changes.

“Throughout the programme we’ll be working closely with every corner of the sector, from individuals and small businesses to large corporations with established policies already in place. By focusing on diversity and inclusion we can challenge the norms and create a welcoming, positive culture that reflects the diversity of our population and embraces equality across one of Scotland’s most exciting and valuable industries.”

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