share this page

Construction a beacon for social mobility, says CIOB

Published

19th December 2016

A new report published by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) highlights the critical role that construction plays in reversing the declining levels of economic and social mobility in the UK. 

The report, Social Mobility and Construction: Building Routes to Opportunity contains a specially commissioned survey of 1,094 working adults. Results show how among the UK industries, construction ranks near the top for social and economic mobility. And while other industries, such as manufacturing, have shed skilled workers, the construction industry maintains a third of all employment in this occupation group. These skilled trades not only provide social status and solid earnings in themselves, but provide many with an opportunity and a platform for progression within their career, from the trades through to management and professional roles.

Commenting on the report, Paul Nash, President of the CIOB said: “Social mobility is fast becoming one of the defining issues of our time. This report highlights the importance of increasing social mobility and how the construction industry can work to promote greater equality of opportunity for all, particularly in a challenging social and economic environment.

Reflecting on his own career, Paul continued: “I joined the construction industry at 18 as a management trainee with a construction company; I went on to gain a post-graduate qualification through advice from my professional body. I now sit here as President of the CIOB. I never thought I’d be in the position I am today but stories such as mine show the quality of opportunity that exists in construction.”

The findings also demonstrate the links between the actual built environment and social mobility: a better built environment, including schools, hospitals, homes and infrastructure, provides greater opportunity for economic and social progression. Essentially the shaping of the built environment plays a big part in how these opportunities are distributed and how they impact on our well-being and life chances.

The report finds makes a list of recommendations for business, industry, professional bodies and government, namely:

Construction businesses 

• Focus on better human resource management 

• Introduce and/or expand mentoring schemes 

• Boost investment in training 

• Develop talent from the trades as potential managers and professionals 

• Engage with the community and local education establishments 

Industry 

• Rally around social mobility as a collective theme 

• Promote better human resource management and support the effort of businesses 

• Promote and develop the UK as an international hub of construction excellence 

• Support diversity and schemes that widen access to management and the professions 

• Emphasise and spread understanding of the built environment’s impact on social mobility 

Professional bodies and institutions 

• Drive the aspirations of Professions for Good for promoting social mobility and diversity 

• Support wider access to the professions and support those from less-privileged backgrounds 

• Promote and develop the UK as an international hub of construction excellence 

• Emphasise and spread understanding of the built environment’s impact on social mobility 

• Provide greater routes for degree-level learning among those working within construction 

 Government 

• Produce with urgency a plan to boost the UK as an international hub of construction excellence, as a core part of the Industrial Strategy 

• Provide greater funding to support the travel costs of apprentices 

• Support wider access to the professions and support those from less-privileged backgrounds 

• Place greater weight in project appraisal on the impact the built environment has on social mobility 

The report is being formally launched at an event in the House of Commons later today. A full copy of the report is available at: https://policy.ciob.org/research

 

Contact

Saul Townsend
01344 630 766

Recent News

A best practice toolkit to help the construction industry tackle modern slavery in its global supply chains has been launched today (16 February...

Published: 16th February 2017

Big changes afoot with CIOB’s Construction Manager of the Year Awards 2017

Published: 13th February 2017

The public cast thousands of votes in this year’s Art of Building photography competition and chose a stunning photograph of Kelenfold Power...

Published: 7th February 2017

At a time when the Government has unveiled greater investment in science, research and innovation as part of its 10-point plan for an Industrial...

Published: 1st February 2017

The five-week interactive course is free and open to anyone working in the built environment sector globally, it is tailor made...

Published: 16th January 2017