Page 9

Building Products March 2018

NEWS | BUILDING PRODUCTS Find more construction industry news at: buildingproducts.co.uk Show guide sets standards on diversity Young women feel ‘limited by gender’ MARCH 2018 | BUILDING PRODUCTS 9 Spring Statement ‘should signal end of unfair payment’ says FMB’s Berry Government should ‘get tough’ on regulatory enforcement’ Despite recent efforts to attract more women into the construction industry, young women in the UK still feel that their options are limited by their gender, according to a new report. ‘Closing the Gender Gap’ by WorldSkills UK and the Careers & Enterprise Company, which surveyed 2,000 young people and 2,000 parents, shows that young women are still not pursuing certain careers usually associated with men. Said to make ‘sober reading for anyone believing that true gender equality exists’, 56% of young women (aged 17 – 19) surveyed, believed that their gender limits their career options. In contrast, only 37% of young men felt gender limited their options and were more confident about their career prospects. The research also found that young women aspire to lower salaries than men by around £1,000. UK Construction Week, billed as the UK’s largest event for the built environment, has released a new guide for its exhibitors to promote what it described as ‘greater equality, diversity and inclusion’ in their marketing at the show. It is thought to be the first time that any major trade show has set standards on diversity, including the use of promotional staff on exhibition stands. Nathan Garnett, director of UK Construction Week, said: “We want the show to be lively, fun and engaging, and these measures should not be interpreted as restrictions upon that. Promoting a more diverse and inclusive image of construction is a joyful thing. “But the fear of getting it wrong is holding the construction industry back from a frank conversation about diversity, equality and inclusion. “We got it wrong last year, and faced criticism on social media. So we’re still learning too... “No-one can deny that the construction sector has more work to do in this area than most. The business case is clear, the moral case undeniable, so now is the time. It is for this reason UK Construction Week has made a commitment to change and to promote the benefits of diversity for the advantage of the whole construction sector.” The Chancellor’s announcement of a new consultation on late payment should be the beginning of the end for unfair payment practices which hit small businesses across the UK, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said in response to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement. Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “The Chancellor’s announcement of a consultation to tackle the scourge of late payment should mark a turning point on this issue. We should use this opportunity to bring about a spring clean of payment practices which negatively impact on small business. Construction giant Carillion’s collapse at the start of the year brought to light, once again, the need to eliminate poor payment practises that plague the construction sector particularly. Indeed, one London-based small building firm was once paid more Brian Berry than 270 days late by a construction giant. Now is the time to move away from these unsustainable business models which threaten the existence of many firms and their supply chains. This announcement should be followed by a fundamental rethink ending in the permanent abolition of late payment terms and the exploitative use of retention payments.” LABC’s director of technical policy, Barry Turner, has welcomed the discussions held during the recent Regulation and Guidance Working Group of the Hackitt Review and called for stronger government action on regulatory enforcement. According to recent research, prosecutions using the Building Regulations have been falling over the last 10 years and are now at roughly a quarter of what they were 10 years ago. The reason for this, says the LABC, is clear – a failure by the courts to both fine the perpetrators sufficiently to deter them and to award prosecuting authorities sufficient costs. The survey showed it cost an average of £10,750 for an LABC team to bring an enforcement prosecution to court, while the average award for costs was just £670. Similarly, average fines were just over £5,100 while perpetrators were estimated to gain financially by more than £12,000 even once any fine was taken into account. Barry Turner said: “I am delighted to be involved in the Hackitt working group and am really pleased at how everyone involved is working so constructively towards the shared goal of better regulation. But in addition to being ‘fit for purpose’, regulations must also be backed up by effective enforcement against those who make no effort to comply or attempt to defraud. Over the years, effective enforcement has become more and more difficult. It’s time for the government to make clear to the courts that they should get tough with the tiny minority in the industry who don’t comply with the regulations and standards.” UK Construction Week has released a new guide for its exhibitors to promote ‘greater equality, diversity and inclusion’ in their marketing at the show, which takes place at Brimingham’s NEC Barry Turner


Building Products March 2018
To see the actual publication please follow the link above