Previous Article Next Article Minister attacks ‘macho’ cultureOn 5 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The building industry faces a crisis in recruitment unless it throws off itsAuf Wiedersehn Pet image and rethinks safety, career development and equality Construction minister Brian Wilson told delegates at the Contract Journalconference on recruitment and retention that the sector must recruit 300,000more qualified people by 2006 to implement the biggest-ever public sectorbuilding programme. But 90 per cent of construction firms are already finding it hard to recruitengineers, graduates and craft workers such as carpenters and electricians. To add to the problem, the number of graduates applying for building-relatedcourses is falling and colleges are having to close courses due to lack offunding. Wilson said the industry only had itself to blame for its poor image withjobseekers and called for a culture change to overhaul the sector’s image as anemployer of last resort. He also said the industry’s safety record was unacceptable, with a report bythe HSE showing that although deaths on site had fallen by 26 since a summitlast year, last year’s death toll was 79. He called for an end to long hours working and a move away from casual workand the informal economy. Wilson said the sector had to shed its macho image to attract women andethnic minorities and that it should encourage more flexible working to attractwomen returners. “You look for the easiest solution first and one of the easiestsolutions is to open yourself up to the 50 per cent of the workforce you havecut yourself off from,” said Wilson. The minister’s comments were reinforced by Sheila Hoile, director oftraining strategy at sector training body, the CITB. She said companies needed to change perceptions about the sector byproviding more positive work experience and by working more closely witheducation and training providers. By Noel O’Reilly Related posts:No related photos.