A free online ‘toolkit’ equipping construction industry employers with ways to promote inclusivity in the workplace has been launched.

Funded by the CITB, the Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Toolkit has been developed by the Supply Chain School – which wants directors, senior and site managers to embrace its e-learning modules.

The three core pillars of work environment best practice are detailed through four “Toolkit Talks”, which accompany videos and an online resource library.

The School is urging team managers to utilise the free resources, before filtering the information down through to others via the talks, consisting of a short film and trainer script.

Kate Lloyd, fairness, inclusion and respect manager at CITB, said: “This new Toolkit, will provide accessible learning material to benefit the industry. The free Toolkit will assist companies to further develop their own practices so that they can become fairer, more inclusive and respectful.”

The Toolkit is to be officially introduced during a series of nationwide events, starting this week at Uttoxeter Racecourse and running into the new year. These will be hosted by the likes of Balfour Beatty and Highways England.

Sean McCarthy OBE, chair of the Supply Chain School, explains that the initiative’s overall goal is to make the industry a comfortable place to work for all employees. By enhancing inclusivity, the sector will also help itself in filling skills gaps through wider-reaching recruitment drives.

The School cites figures, for example, which show women account for just 14.5% of construction jobs, despite representing 46% of the nation’s overall workforce. Similarly, the amount of Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic (BAME) workers in the industry is also far less than their represented proportion in the wider jobs market.

McCarthy said: “Our industry has an image problem; we aren’t perceived as an attractive sector to join. We can’t continue to rely on ageing white men to meet our workforce needs, and I speak as one of that diminishing demographic.”

Kate Lloyd continues: “We need a workforce which reflects the population to ensure we are meeting the needs of our rich and increasingly diverse communities.

“Everyone has a responsibility in promoting fairness, inclusion and respect in the construction workplace, whether on site or in an office.”

The online tools were created in conjunction with the Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association, and benefitted from CITB funding.

Also involved in the production of the Toolkit were several large contractors including Skanska and Carillion, as well as clients like Network Rail and HS2.