Contractors join forces to create a more diverse workforce in construction sector

Two of Britain’s largest contractors are joining forces to support a pioneering study into flexible working on construction sites.

BAM wants to encourage more people to consider careers in the construction sector.

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The two sister companies – BAM Nuttall and BAM Construct UK - are throwing their weight behind a study which aims to encourage more people to take up careers in the sector.

They are supporting the construction pioneers programme, which is being led and co-ordinated by industry body Build UK together with workplace consultancy Timewise.Andrea Singh, Executive Director for BAM, said: “Creating solutions that would give us the ability to offer more flexible working arrangements would bring so many benefits. These challenges affect our ability to recruit and retain people from a diverse group, especially women, in an industry with a critical need to do so to redress the skills shortage.“Our work/life balance affects our mental health and our personal wellbeing. Our industry places high demands on our people and too many have struggled to cope with mental health pressures as a result. In the most extreme cases this can lead to catastrophic outcomes. “We need to find better answers, helping our teams achieve a better balance and reaping the rewards that this will bring on both personal and business levels.“For the first time ever this study will tackle the challenges to achieving flexible working on site and propose practical ways forward. I’m really excited that BAM are a part of this and look forward to finding solutions which will benefit our employees and shape the wider industry.”BAM Nuttall and BAM Construct UK collectively employ more than 5,000 people. The company is developing the Sir William Henry Bragg building for Leeds University. Its regional office is based at Thorpe Park.

Emma Stewart MBE, CEO and co-founder of Timewise, said: “Many people think flexible working in the construction industry, with its long hours culture, deadline-driven mentality and physical demands, is simply impossible. Timewise has been working with organisations in other industries, such as the NHS and the British Retail Consortium, who face similar challenges – and seen real change take hold. Improving flexible working is a key way in which to tackle a whole range of key workforce and skills challenges. We’re delighted to be working with our inaugural Construction Pioneers to test and share how to make flexible working truly work in construction.”

Suzannah Nichol MBE, chief executive of Build UK, said: “The construction sector has recognised, and acknowledged, that it needs to recruit and retain a much more diverse workforce to create the world we all live in and rely on. The challenge is to create a working environment that enables men and women from all backgrounds to realise their full potential in an industry offering a fantastic choice of rewarding careers whilst meeting their work life balance requirements. This is not something we can do on our own and Timewise is leading the way in enabling major industries to change the way they operate.”