How a Partnership Approach to Equality and Diversity is Delivering Real Competitive Advantage

ConstructED online recently undertook a major project to develop Equality and Diversity training with a UK based Top 100 construction and property management company. The process of developing a fully funded training programme, took months of careful planning, and involved consultancy on development of training plans, devising the delivery mechanism to thousands of staff, and development of internal systems to control and monitor training.

By working in partnership, the company now has a web based training programme through ConstructED online, which is being rolled out across many divisions and regions of the business and simultaneously transforming the business, whilst also providing a significant competitive advantage for future major procurement contracts.

John Raine from ConstructED online explains how the business partnership evolved from a simple enquiry for an online demonstration of software, into a major project developing multiple strands of activity across the business.

‘Initial contact was confined to enquiries about how our online software worked and some discussion around flexibility of delivery. It quickly emerged that this major player in the construction sector was looking for a bespoke training solution.’

Over the course of a series of meetings all parties recognised the complexity of the challenge ahead:

  • The business had multiple regions and different divisions, which meant that implementation was going to be a significant challenge.
  • The business was fundamentally committed to equality and diversity in the workplace and was looking for a solution which would embed best practice, increase awareness at every level in the organisation, and most importantly gain external recognition and celebrate internal achievement.
  • The business was looking for a solution which could qualify for funding through Construction Skills, and so required a detailed approach to developing the initial training plans to ensure funding was forthcoming.

For most of our competitors in the market, the company would have been left to solve these issues alone, and the process would take many months, and then potentially be adopted in a fragmented way. For ConstructED, this was the ideal opportunity to demonstrate how they operate as a partner to the construction industry.

John Raine continued: ‘We set about devising a series of planning sessions with the company. This allowed us all to scope out the project and make some critical decisions about timescales and implementation. We set out the flexibility of our online solution and worked closely with the company to ensure they had a really solid base to test the training with groups and then roll the programme out across thousands of employees. That is the stage we are at right now and the company has already seen that our solution online is not just flexible, but has a significant impact on all employees undergoing the training module.’

For ConstructED this was a perfect opportunity to deliver free consultancy which in turn led to a fully funded training programme. The company will have to pay nothing to cover the cost of this training, and through a close working partnership, the business benefits from an online solution which is now even more flexible.

John Raine concluded: ‘We are seeing companies really benefit from ConstructED online. The solution helps employees and provides instant access to the best information. The company benefits in numerous way, and in the case of our major construction partner, they see the longer term commercial benefits. With all major public sector contracts being awarded through procurement portals, and an absolute requirement to demonstrate a robust approach to equality and diversity, our partner sees a major hurdle to winning large contracts has been overcome quickly, easily and without a huge financial investment.’

For further information about ConstructED Online and what funding may be available to built environment contractors please contact John Raine on 0191 5166464.

Mark Carton

mark@lateraladvertising.co.uk

0191 5641444

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About Us

Simple, Effective Equality & Diversity Services for the Construction Sector Equality and diversity in the construction sector has long been a topic for discussion. Indeed some public bodies see the sector as a high risk area for discrimination. However, the time for discussion is over-it is now time for action! Recent legislation, statutory codes of practice and good practice guidance, that all impact on the sector, are prompting forward thinking organisations to re-evaluate their position on equality and diversity. For some, to not do so will be costly in terms of lost contracts and possible discrimination claims. Are you aware that: ◦ The Equality Act 2010 has strengthened the law on procurement and established new areas in legislation? ◦ The public sector equality duty, contained within the Act, requires public bodies to have due regard, whilst carrying out its functions, to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations? This will influence to whom they award contracts to. ◦ Employers are liable for acts of discrimination, harassment and victimisation committed by their employees whilst in the course of employment? ◦ Employers will not be liable for unlawful acts committed by their employees in the course of employment if the employer has taken all reasonable steps to prevent such acts? ◦ The cost of defending a claim on average is £9000, but reputational damage is incalculable? ◦ The construction sector has been identified as a potential high risk area where discrimination is more likely to occur? So, what does it all mean to you? Construction companies, of whatever size, need to be aware of the changes in legislation and, importantly, understand how the changes might impact on them as employers and providers of goods, works or facilities. The changes will affect you in a number of different ways: ◦ As an employer you have a higher risk of claims against you. ◦ As a service provider, you have a risk of claims against you from service users and or members of the general public. ◦ To secure new contracts you may be asked to PROVE your equality and diversity credentials in order to be awarded new work. Taking action to reduce your risks and improve your prospects of future work is easy. Our ConstructED services are designed specifically with your sector in mind. They will help you to take positive action to improve your reputation as an employer and service provider and minimise your risks. Our ConstructED services include: ◦ Equality Review; where are you now, leading to where do you need to be? ◦ Policies and Procedures Health Check; ◦ Equality and Diversity for Directors and Senior Managers; ◦ Equality and Diversity for Site Managers, including tool box talks; ◦ Accredited training for your in-house expert; ◦ ConstructED Online, cost effective training for site operatives and remote workers; ◦ Diversity Assured, a nationally recognised award offered by Committed2Equality.

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We are seeing companies really benefit from ConstructED online. The solution helps employees and provides instant access to the best information. The company benefits in numerous way, and in the case of our major construction partner, they see the longer term commercial benefits. With all major public sector contracts being awarded through procurement portals, and an absolute requirement to demonstrate a robust approach to equality and diversity, our partner sees a major hurdle to winning large contracts has been overcome quickly, easily and without a huge financial investment
John Raine - ConstructED