Installers need to get in driving seat of new competence regime


Andrew Eldred is director of workforce and public affairs at trade body ECA This month saw the publication of a new report on installer competence. It was prepared on behalf of Working Group 2 (WG2), which is charged with establishing a new, post-Grenfell competence regime for installers, which Dame Judith…

Pursuing gender equality through ‘return to work’ programmes


Tracy Burrell is senior HR business partner at Ramboll Talented professionals may choose to pause their career for a variety of reasons, but returning to work after a prolonged absence can be a daunting prospect, with unclear pathways for doing so. Research from AIG Life found that women are three…

How Boris Johnson can usher in a new nuclear age for the UK

Simon Harris of Randstad UK

Simon Harris is senior director of operations at Randstad UK, Construction & Property Leo Quinn, the boss of Balfour Beatty, recently told the FT that he believes Britain is in for a decade-long infrastructure boom. He has a point – the government forecasts £650bn worth of investment in infrastructure over the…

Cementing progress on equality, diversity and inclusion


Next steps for embedding an inclusive and welcoming culture across the sector were explored at a Construction News roundtable, sponsored by Copper Consultancy. Steve Dale reports

On the panel Emilia Hardern, diversity and inclusion project manager, Network Rail Jenny Hinde, executive director, The Clear Company Faye Jenkins, head of social…

Without diversity, construction will never truly modernise


Vicky Savage is group director, development and sales, at L&Q What do you think of when you think of the construction industry? Despite progress in recent years, for many the typical construction worker will still be an older, white male, and the average site a harsh environment fraught with safety…

Working at height: how material costs and labour shortages hit access firms

Tall metal building frame

Scaffolding firms have faced unprecedented challenges and opportunities from Brexit and the pandemic. Chronic labour shortages worsened as EU workers returned home and COVID-19 sent a shockwave through the industry. The cost of timber and steel – the two core materials of the trade – became unusually and unpredictably priced,…

Is construction closing its gender pay gap?


After a pandemic-induced lull in gender pay-gap reporting, and following dramatic changes to some firms’ working practices, James Wilmore explores whether the industry is making progress towards pay equality

When Taylor Wimpey appointed its first female chief executive in February, it sparked headlines. Jennie Daly, the group’s operations director, will be…

IR35 is draining the pool of self-employed workers

Andy Chamberlain of IPSE

Andy Chamberlain is director of policy at self-employment association IPSE   Over the past year, there has been a forgotten crisis affecting self-employed workers in the construction sector: IR35. Introduced in 2000, the aim of IR35 is to prevent businesses from gaining a tax advantage by disguising employment as a…