The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has launched a free training course to help built environment professionals around the world better understand how diversity and inclusion can combat underrepresentation in the sector.
Available through the Future Learn website, the course requires two hours of online study a week for three consecutive weeks and covers the need for commitment to diversity and inclusion, why the construction sector faces challenges, and how to bring about change.
It includes engaging and motivational materials ranging from international articles, video interviews with sector thought leaders, and a weekly quiz. At each step, learners are prompted to consider a question that will generate debate with other participants accessing the course.
Mark Harrison, Head of EDI Transformation at CIOB, said: “We are offering global access to this training resource without charge as evidence of our commitment to promoting a welcoming, diverse and inclusive built environment sector.
“Across the globe, our industry faces skills shortages and the lack of a representative workforce significantly reduces the available talent pool, so it’s an issue that must be addressed. Anyone can access the course, so there is no requirement to be a CIOB member. We hope people across the sector will make the most of this opportunity to further their own knowledge and play their part, no matter how small, in creating an industry that is accessible to all.”
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows only 15% of the UK construction workforce is female, with only 2% actually being on-site, while in other parts of the world, this figure is believed to be lower . Other underrepresented groups in the UK construction sector include those from Black and Asian minority ethnic backgrounds and disabled people both at only six per cent.
Bola Abisogun OBE, Chair of the DEI Committee at the Construction Industry Council, said: “I am delighted to throw my weight behind such a thought-provoking sector offer, designed to challenge the established norms and diversify the talent pool across the sector. This launch is yet more evidence of the commitment by CIOB in its approach to diversity, equity and inclusion and I welcome it to help create a more welcoming and self-sustaining landscape for built environment professionals.”
Access the course here. Select the “join course” option on the right of the screen. No subscriptions or one-off payments are required, but Future Learn will make a charge for certificates and to learners who wish to take the course over more than the recommended three-week period.
In 2021 CIOB launched its Diversity and Inclusion Charter which has been signed by almost 200 organisations from across the built environment sector.