A lack of diversity combined with an out-of-date mindset means the industry is at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting new talent.”
“We at Wates have ambitious goals for creating a more diverse workforce that better reflects the society in which we work, and this includes tripling the number of people who declare a disability. We cannot make that kind of progress by thinking in old ways.”
Sir James Wates CBE
Chairman of Wates Group
Construction has an image problem that is harming recruitment. We must change.
In this article which first appeared in Building in June 2021, our Chairman, Sir James Wates CBE, reflects on issues surrounding recruitment and writes that the built environment needs to create a more inclusive workplace, to enable a diverse range of talented people to apply their skills to work in the industry.
Sir James notes that, “Twenty percent of working age adults have a disability and only nine percent people with disabilities make up the construction workforce.” construction is losing out to other sectors which may seem more inclusive and attractive to talented people with disabilities.
The article argues for the construction industry to change its image and to break out of old mindsets. Featuring stories of people with disabilities and celebrating their success within our industry is a good first step.