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Six UK professional institutes hatch plan to boost diversity

The plan targets data collection, understanding the transition from education to employment, and standards in equity, diversity and inclusion (Image courtesy of ThisisEngineering/RAEng/Unsplash)
Six leading UK professional institutes representing construction managers, engineers, architects, surveyors and planners yesterday today launched a 45-point action plan to improve equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in construction.

The action plan was developed by a working group with representatives from the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Landscape Institute (LI), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

It sets out how the organisations, collectively representing 350,000 members, will collaborate to deliver the three objectives: data collection; improving understanding of transition from education into employment; and EDI standards.

The plan follows Memorandum of Understanding signed in April.

The plan details clear outcomes, deadlines and responsibilities, with an overall three-year deadline.

Data collection

By the end of 2022, organisations will agree on a set of consistent core questions and data points to collect across the UK, alongside consistent messaging to encourage the collective membership to share demographic data.

This will enable organisations to publish data on the diversity of membership in a consistent manner by April 2024, thereby formulating a clear picture across the built environment to identify gaps and inform targeted actions.

From education to employment

Throughout 2023, groups of recently-qualified students will be convened to consult on experiences, alongside 50 employers with graduate programmes, to better understand the challenges they face with recruiting and retaining a diverse graduate workforce.

Sourcing this evidence will help to improve collective understanding of retention rates and awarding gaps in education.

EDI standards

Organisations will survey and report on the EDI CPD training they currently offer by November 2022 to identify gaps. This feeds into the goal of creating a consistent core EDI curricular for the collective membership by February 2024.

The six membership bodies will now work together to deliver the action plan over the next three years,   with annual progress reviews from senior leadership taking place every February.

“Increasing diversity across our sector is vital if we’re to attract and retain the best talent and address the skills and people shortages we face,” said CIOB chief executive Caroline Gumble. “Uniting with our sister professional bodies to set out a clear plan of action is a major milestone and I firmly believe this collaborative approach will help drive the positive culture change we so urgently need.”

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