The construction sector is a huge employer across the UK with over 2.5m workers in total. And as well as being a major employer, it’s also offers vital gateway roles for school leavers and those new to construction without the skills required for specialist roles. Once within the sector, the career pathways and upskilling opportunities are almost endless, offering workers a diverse and rewarding route for progression and growth.
However it’s no secret that UK’s labour market across all sectors is really starting to tighten. The combination of Brexit, COVID and the UK’s population demographics means that finding the labour needed is becoming increasingly challenging across most sectors. And it’s affecting both skilled and unskilled labour. Add in inflation and you’re heading towards the perfect conditions to drive vacancy levels and wages up.
But alongside the trend of sky-high employment rates, there remains a large pool of labour who for a number of reasons feel excluded from opportunities to work, earn a good wage and contribute to the economy. These workers often live in deprived communities or feel excluded from industries like construction due to age, ethnicity, gender or disabilities.
At Shore Construction, we've created our Ethical Resourcing strategy to provide additional support to help bring these communities back into the workplace. This strategy fits with our Brand ideal, providing a better approach for our clients, workers, our Team and the communities we serve. Our Ethical Resourcing team has been established to provide dedicated support for this initiative, specializing in equality, diversity and inclusion.
WHAT IS ETHICAL RESOURCING?
Ethical Resourcing connects directly with workers and communities at the point of need. This often includes via charities, community centres, youth centres, local authorities and training organisations. We partner with contractors within our supply chain and industry bodies to fund qualifications and certifications to increase skills within these communities and match workers with suitable roles.
WHAT IS THE NEED?
At Shore Construction, we’re seeing the impact of trades and labour shortage first hand both with our own workers and within our supply chain. Combined with the increase in construction skills certifications costs, attracting new workers to the industry is a very real challenge right now.
As well as this shortage, we’re also passionate about making careers in construction accessible to everyone, especially those in deprived areas or from under-represented communities – especially as our projects are often based within these areas.
The data also clearly shows that construction is still some way off reaching it’s diversity and equality goals. Whilst the sector employs 3.1m people (9% of UK working population), the workforce is far from representative of the wider population. Only 10% of the workforce is under 25, 83% of workers are ‘white other’, and only 14% of the workforce are female.
LOCAL BENEFITS WITH EVERY PROJECT
Every project we deliver has the ability to create lasting change within the communities we operate and Ethical Resourcing is at the heart of this. Whether directly within our own labour force, or working with our supply chain, we have the opportunity to offer gateway roles to local workers, introducing them to a career in construction and provide direct benefit to the local community through wages and upskilling.
Our team partners with local job centres, school, colleges and community to groups offering free CSCS Training course providing candidates with the vital safety preparation they need to work on a construction site. We also add in employability training so that they’re also prepared to make a good impression and understand employer expectations whether they work on a Shore Construction site or elsewhere.
Lauren Mears, Resourcing Manager
As part of our the overall project plans, we then work with our supply chain to identify the overall resourcing requirements and how we can engage the local community to meet these.
THE BENEFITS OF ETHICAL RESOURCING
Ethical Resourcing aligns with our Brand Ideal with better outcomes for workers, our clients, our Team and the communities we serve.
For workers, Ethical Resourcing opens up new employment opportunities, develops new skills and increases employment within local communities.
For clients, in addition to meeting the immediate labour need, ethical resourcing provides all the benefits of a more diverse workforce and helps clients meet their Section 106 obligations. And the benefits run through the entire supply chain partnering with main contractors and sub-contractors.
Communities benefit from direct economic gain and increased local employment from projects as well increasing the talent pool and skillsbase.
HOW IT WORKS
Ethical Resourcing is an involved process and a re-design of a traditional project resourcing model and having a dedicated team is a key step to success. Our strategy brings together local partnerships at the point of need, innovative financial partnerships to funding training and access, diversified recruitment advertising and specific internal training and upskilling.
As well as helping us to successfully deliver our projects, our Ethical Resourcing model helps our projects to meet any Section 106 requirements attached to the planning consent and helps local authorities meet their objectives to upskill and regenerate deprived areas.
Through this approach, the legacy of each project goes way beyond the bricks and mortar development. We upskill workers, return economic benefits directly to the local community and help engage younger generations to the career opportunities within construction.
PARTNERING WITH OUR SUPPLY CHAIN
Our Ethical Resourcing strategy continues to develop at pace and we’re working with our sister company, The Shore Group to make sure it's efficient and effective. We’re still at the start of our journey however we’re excited to be part of the change to open up construction to under-represented communities and help provide opportunities to those who need it most. It’s yet another building block of our Brand Ideal and part of our growth strategy.