Using the Census to win tenders?

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A number of new reports on census data have been published this past month and we think they are key for construction companies looking to get on the right side of public sector clients.
The equality duties require the public sector and its sub-contractors to be more proactive when it comes to equalities ensuring that it is: -

• working towards a diverse workforce
• fostering and maintaining good relations
• putting measures in place to eliminate discrimination

To meet these requirements you can use voluntary legislation like positive action where there is a lack of representation. Geography is an important factor when considering religion and race and areas which have denser populations than others - it’s here that the census data can help you decide what is legal and achievable.

If you would like us to write a blog to tell you more about either positive action or the equality duties, please click the "like" or "tweet" buttons above. Last month's blog on the Social Value Act can be found here.
Happy Building

For your chance to win a £20 John Lewis gift voucher why not enter our monthly quiz? Remember, all of the answers to our quiz can be found in this newsletter.

Last month’s lucky winner was Julie  Greenfield of Lookfantastic Training Ltd Congratulations!

This month we are advising you to follow our ally The Women's Org. ‏@TheWomensOrg for all things business and gender


You can also follow us @ConstructingEq and read our blog to keep up with current issues

NEWS - * CITB BE FaIR update – Registration is now open

CITB Be Fair Update

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Things have been getting busy with Be Fair throughout August. Chrissi McCarthy has been travelling the length and breadth of the country explaining how to implement the CITB Be Fair Framework to some of the pilot companies. Sessions have been held in Liverpool (Holloway Cook Associates Ltd, Southport Gate Ltd, Complete Access (Scaffolding) Ltd, Currall Lewis & Martin, MGF Excavation Support Systems, The Sovini Group (One Vision Housing), George Hurst & Sons Ltd, ISG, Walter Carefoot & Sons (Construction) Ltd, DCT Civil Engineering, MAC Roofing and Contracting Ltd) London (Lend Lease,T and B (Contractors) Ltd, Westridge Construction, Morgan Sindall PLC, Waller Associates, Durkan Ltd, Admiral Scaffolding, D & B Scaffolding), Glasgow (Graham Construction, Macform Ltd,CBES Ltd, M T M Construction Ltd, Robertson Construction Group, Daviot Farms Ltd, D J Laing (Contracts) Ltd, Decorous Painting Contractors Ltd, ASC Edinburgh Ltd, J Sives Surfacing Ltd) and Bridgend (M Camilleri & Sons Roofing, Alun Griffiths Contractors) .

Responses were good with delegates now feeling not only prepared for the framework, but also even more enthusiastic about taking part. Some of the feedback from delegates included:
“Raising standards within the industry”
“Kept simple, not an overcomplicated process”
“Reasoning for the framework is clear and well thought out”
“Fab that it’s construction industry based”

Companies wishing to register for Be Fair when the pilot finishes should visit the CITB Website and fill in the form there. Constructing Equality Ltd can be used as a supplier for Be Fair, but we’d advise booking early as our time is rapidly filling up!

*Parliamentary Joint Committee on the draft Deregulation Bill – call for evidence

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July 2013 the newly formed Parliamentary Joint Committee on the draft Deregulation Bill has called for evidence on various questions such as ‘Does the draft Bill cover a broad range of legislation’ and ‘Are the changes in the draft Bill evidence-based and have any associated risks been properly taken into account’.
The Committee expects to take oral evidence from witnesses in October and November and is required to report to Parliament by Monday 16 December. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is Monday 16 September.

Visit here to find more information about the Parliamentary Joint Committee and details of the draft Deregulation Bill.

WAVE activities – Summer 2013

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The WAVE Project (Women Adding Value to the Economy) is recruiting for a range of career development programmes for women working or living in the Convergence area of Wales. These include:


1. An online and face-to-face network to support women working at all levels within construction, manual trades and the built environment in Wales.  The network aims to: -

• Provide an online meeting place and forum
• Encourage and support women to remain and progress in these fields
• Provide links to mentors and role models
• Offer access to training and development opportunities, particularly in the green technologies field.
• Create links with employers and training providers to inspire more women into construction.
Join WiC Wales online at

2. A mentoring scheme for Women in Construction and IT which includes access to accredited training and professional development in mentoring.  

3. High value new training programmes in web design and creative i-media for women to move into technical IT roles and a Diploma in Strategic ICT Leadership for women managers in SMEs are available to start in the autumn. 

Access to mentors and career planning support will be provided through the WAVE team.

The WAVE project aims to address skill shortages and add value to the Welsh economy by advancing women’s roles in the workforce.

Get in touch with the WAVE Team on 02920 493351 or at

*Reader submissions sought

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At Constructing Equality Ltd we like to highlight the good work that goes on in the construction industry. One of the problems that we have is that in general nobody mentions the things that they do, and we think that’s a shame. We are looking to hear from you, in particular examples of good practice or updates on how you are progressing through the CITB Be Fair Framework. We try to keep stories to roughly 200 words, so if you have something you would like to share then send it to Matt.

*Cut off during Maternity

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In March, a poll suggested that one in seven of 1,000 women surveyed had lost their job while on maternity leave, while just under half reported a cut in hours or demotion. More than one tenth had been replaced in their jobs by the person who covered their leave.
It is against the law to dismiss or otherwise disadvantage an employee for a reason related to pregnancy or maternity leave.

But what are the rules around simply keeping in touch?

One often perpetuated myth is that employers are not allowed to contact employees while on maternity leave - however the Work and Families Act 2006 makes it clear that "reasonable contact" is allowed.


So in effect, it is up to the two parties to work out the level of contact that they want to have.
The employee is allowed 10 paid Keeping in Touch (Kit) days - where they can visit the office - although again, there is no obligation on either party to do this.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission says that, in particular, employers should keep in contact with an employee if they are at risk of being made redundant.

Jo Swinson, Minister for Employment Relations, describes current arrangements for maternity leave as "old-fashioned and rigid".

She says that is why the government is introducing shared parental leave and pay, adding it is "committed to making sure that more businesses make the best use of women's talents throughout the organisation, from the shop floor to the boardroom".

"It will also allow women greater flexibility to return to work earlier if they wish, reducing the impact of pregnancy on women's careers," she says.

The full article for this story can be found on the BBC website

*‘A’ Level increase in STEM subjects

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A level results published today by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) show there has been a big rise in the number and proportion of young people taking A levels in maths, physics, chemistry and biology – subjects that are highly valued by employers and universities.

There are more students doing maths, further maths, physics, chemistry and biology at ‘A’ level than ever before – both in terms of number of entries and as a percentage of the cohort.

Education Minister Elizabeth Truss said:
“It is extremely encouraging that there has been such a significant rise in the number of students taking A levels in subjects like maths and the sciences.

“These subjects are not just fascinating and worth studying for their own sake – they are also the ones which open up modern, high-tech careers and are most in demand by employers and universities. This is good for the economy and will help the UK compete.”


JCQ’s figures for UK entries show that from 2012 to 2013: -

  • Maths entries up 2.7% (from 85,714 in 2012 to 88,060 in 2013)
  • Further maths entries up 4.5% (from 13,223 to 13,821)
  • Biology entries up 1.4% (from 63,074 to 63,939)
  • Chemistry entries up 5.2% (from 49,234 to 51,818)
  • Physics entries up 3.1% (from 34,509 to 35,569)

For more information, please click here

*Failure to understand Muslim diversity leads to poor policymaking

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'The New Muslims' report, produced for the think tank Runnymede, looks at the wide range of Muslim identities in the UK by examining a number of factors.

Some of the key findings: -


The Muslim population increased from 1.2m to 2.7m between 2001-2011, with the group’s share of the population increasing from 3% to 4.8%. The Muslim population is relatively evenly spread through England and Wales.

There has been a decrease in Muslim segregation through the spreading out from the biggest Muslim concentrations towards neighbouring areas.

There is a lack of needs-based funding for Muslim women’s organisations in a time where issues like marital breakdown are on the rise. This lack of funding forces Muslim women’s organisations to work within restrictive frameworks that may not be best suited to the communities they serve.

Dominant views of Muslim identity can be challenged and expanded by including Muslim voices in the media. Unity FM, a community radio station for the Muslim community in Birmingham, provides a space for diverse Muslim voices and messages to come together and change limited notions of community.

Rob Berkeley, the Director of Runnymede said: "Through this publication we hope in some small way to counter the dominant understandings of British Muslim identities where these are based on falsehoods and generalisations, and to highlight the complexities, nuances and diversity of identities among Muslims in Britain. We do this as part of our on-going project to ensure that our public policy debates and public discussions are based on robust, evidence-based analysis rather than sensationalist, knee-jerk responses."

The full report can be found here

* Company grows after rejecting suicide bidding

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South West and Wales civil engineering and general contractor, ERH Group, has seen its margins and turnover improve after refusing to chase scarce contracts with suicide bids.

Latest results show a 50% jump in turnover to £42m while operating margins improved to 2.6% resulting in a rise in pre-tax profits to £1m.

The company now has its eye on a 4% margin target as a strategy to improve efficiency and not chase loss-making contracts pays dividends.

Group Managing Director, Dave Jones, said: “It’s been a tough few years for the sector and like many, we’ve suffered a little pain, but we recognised that to follow the pack and pursue contracts and turnover, at the expense of profitability, would only lead to failure – a fact borne out by a succession of failing contractors.

“We’re now in a good position to exploit the experience and resources within the group, to win tenders and deliver projects.

“The changes we have made to our business have realised significant efficiency savings and put us in good shape to achieve our growth targets – matching the 65% growth seen in 2012 however, will be a challenge.

“We are now reaping the rewards of the work undertaken overhauling all of our systems over the past few years from a cohesive group branding exercise to a new IT system and infrastructure.

“Sage Construction has helped streamline our contract processes and even the management team has undergone a thorough ‘skill set analysis’ programme to ensure we are future proofing our business – nothing is being left to chance in the pursuit of our ambitious growth plans.”

More information can on the full article can be found here

*Census Data

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There have been a number of reports recently based on the data from the 2011 census. The following few gems may be particularly useful for companies who wish to include positive action in their recruitment: -

- 2011 Census - Local Characteristics on Ethnicity, Identity, Language and Religion for Output Areas in England and Wales has a wealth of data, although it isn't the easiest thing to navigate.

- The Migration Observatory is making migration-related 2011 Census data available through a suite of outputs, including region specific profiles, videos, interactive charts, interactive maps, press releases and commentaries. This has quite a nifty set of tools for achieving the same end.

- Also the Dynamics of Diversity from have a number of reports based on the census data, many of which were written by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

GOOD PRACTICE - *Construction industry branches out to social enterprise

Construction industry branches out to social enterprise

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Wates Group, one of the UK's biggest construction companies has launched the building industry's first national brokering service. The aim is to boost the use of social enterprises at all its construction sites with a target of spending £5m within the sector by 2015, which could translate into as many as 250 new jobs.

The Social Enterprise National Brokerage service is being run in partnership with Social Enterprise UK, the sector's national body. The service will provide a "one-stop shop" for teams of construction workers required to source services from social enterprises at each of Wates' construction sites.

Andy Hobart, Managing Director at Wates, says: "The construction industry offers great opportunities for major contractors and suppliers to work with social enterprises to achieve positive social and economic impact on communities. We are totally committed to increasing social enterprise as an integral part of our procurement process."

Social Enterprise UK says that the move is a sign that more private companies working in the public sector are embracing the Social Value Act and trading with social enterprises for their access to local labour markets and expertise in creating social value.

Wates is a major contractor within the public sector, which currently accounts for 70% of its turnover. This project aligns to Wates' commitments under its Reshaping Tomorrow initiative to create 5,000 employment and training opportunities for disadvantaged groups by 2015.

To read the full article click here

*Land Securities Social Impact

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Land Securities has published the first phase of its socio-economic report on how the one million square foot development, Trinity Leeds, has impacted the local community. Produced by Corporate Citizenship, the report shows just how significant development projects can be, and in a time of recession and individual hardship, how valuable the jobs, training and injection into the economy are.

Head of Retail Project Management, Andrew Dudley comments “Often one of the first of the attributes we present to many of our stakeholders is our size and scale… But sometimes, the more important thing to consider is not our size and scale, but our impact. Our report tells the start of this story.”

Highlights include: -

  • 55% of the construction workforce came from the Leeds and Yorkshire region, and an estimated £20.6m was paid in wages to these local workers.
  • 622 32-month equivalent jobs were provided by the project and a further 1,144 supported in the wider economy.
  • 180 people benefited from work-based training
  • £40,000 in grants awarded to local community and charity groups.

Land Securities recognised that whilst the impact is significant, the development process of a property or place is just the start. In order to measure more detailed impacts, it is already working on a further report, to be delivered one year from opening which will measure some of the more long-term impacts that the centre might have.

For further information follow this link to the Land Securities site

A PDF of the full report is also available here

RESEARCH - *Women in development: 18 tips for career success (the highlights)

Women in development: 18 tips for career success (the highlights)

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The Guardian put together a list of tips for women in business. A round-up of expert advice from their panel on the challenges and opportunities for women in development.

Ayse Cihan Sultanoglu, UN Assistant Secretary-General, New York, US. @csultanoglu -
- To get to the top, don't be afraid of starting at the bottom
The problem is not at the top, but at middle management level
Make sure you are adaptable.

Jackie Asiimwe, Country Manager, Wellspring Advisers, Uganda. @asiimwe4justice -
- Emotions make a leader authentic.

Rushanara Ali, Shadow Minister for International Development, London, UK. @rushanaraali -
- We need anti-discrimination laws that are properly enforced. Programmes to develop leadership skills are key.

Liz Bowen, HR Manager (field staffing), Médecins Sans Frontières, London, UK -
- Women working in the field face a separate challenge.
Success is not just about getting to the 'top'. Organisational cultures need to be challenged from within.

Adele Nandan, Director of International Education, Opportunity International, Chicago, US. @OpportunityIntl -
- Mentoring.

Mary Woodgate, Senior Manager of Global Programmes, Accenture Development Partnerships, London, UK. @MaryWoodgate -
- What does "leaning in" look like in development? It is important to communicate vision in a human way.

Laure Blanchard-Brunac, Principal Banker, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, London, UK -

- Find your voice while you are young. Women need stronger support networks

Marinke van Riet, International Director, Publish What You Pay, London, UK. @Marinkekarianne -     

- Whether to 'lean in' or 'lean back' depends on context.
Being spontaneous and intuitive can lead to success

Jeni Klugman, Director of Gender and Development, World Bank, Washington, DC, US -
- Without a supportive partner, success is almost impossible.

The full article with commentary on each point is available on The Guardian Website


EVENTS - *WAMT - Have a go at Traditional Building Skills at Retford Heritage Open Day.

WAMT - Have a go at Traditional Building Skills at Retford Heritage Open Day.

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On Saturday 14th September, Retford in Nottinghamshire will be holding its annual Heritage Open Day.  This year the event will feature a 'Traditional Building Skills' element, held at Bassetlaw Museum and St Swithun's Parish Church.  Visitors will have the chance to chat to skilled craftsmen and women involved in restoration and conservation.  Find out what courses are available in traditional building crafts, and ‘have a go’ at a wide variety of skills from stone carving to calligraphy.  The day runs from 9.30am - 3.30pm.  Programmes and further information are available from Retford Tourist Information Office: 01777 860780.


*A Woman’s Place – Time for Action (A study of women’s roles in the Welsh workforce)

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Chwarae Teg would like to invite you to attend the presentation of a once in a decade piece of research, “A Woman’s Place”, which investigates the position of women in the Welsh workforce.  This event will specifically focus on the under-utilisation of women’s skills in the Welsh economy, exploring ways to support women to reach their potential.

The event takes place on:
Friday, 27 September 2013, 10.00 am -12.30 pm
Airbus, Broughton Site, Flintshire, North Wales, CH4 0DR

They are very pleased to be joined by Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology who will share his thoughts on gender inequality in training.

VACANCIES - *WAMT Ambassadors wanted!

WAMT Ambassadors wanted!

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Last week Women and Manual Trades held a meeting for those interested in helping create a National Network of tradeswomen.  Many thanks to the women who attended - and if you couldn't make the meeting, it's not too late to get involved.  They’re still looking for enthusiastic people who can act as ‘Ambassadors’ for WAMT in their local area.  You can find out more by clicking here, or emailing Hannah.  They're planning a second Introductory Meeting on Thursday 12th September for those who couldn't attend last week, so save the date and watch this space for details!

RESOURCES - **Support and mentoring for Welsh tradeswomen

Support and mentoring for Welsh tradeswomen

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WIC Wales (Women In Construction Wales) is part of the WAVE project run by the University of South Wales, Cardiff University and the Women's Workshop.  They are now offering a range of support services for women on the tools in their area of the country.  These include an online and face-to-face network, allowing women to exchange know-how and contacts; events and get-togethers with industry experts; and mentoring schemes.  Women on the project can also access a generous 50% discount on DIY courses in Caerphilly. To find out more about WIC Wales, email

Click here for a link to the WicWales homepage. For more information you can also click here


*Business Disability Forum: Disability Standard

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What they do

Business Disability Forum is a not-for-profit member organisation that makes it easier and more rewarding to do business with and employ disabled people.

They have more than twenty years’ experience of working with public and private sector organisations, formerly as the Employers’ Forum on Disability. Their members employ almost 20% of the UK workforce and, together, seek to remove the barriers between public and private organisations and disabled people. They are a key stakeholder for both business and government. They have contributed to the establishment and development of meaningful disability discrimination legislation in the UK.

Business Disability Forum provides pragmatic support by sharing expertise, giving advice, providing training and facilitating networking opportunities. This helps organisations become fully accessible to disabled customers and employees.

Their pioneering Disability Standard is a measure of an organisations’ ability to be disability-smart. It provides a framework for confidently and effectively aligning ways of working, changing behaviour and improving decision making across organisations.

The Business Disability Forum President's Group and the Technology Taskforce define policy with members and government. The Technology Taskforce is led by Chief Technology Officers who define best practice, establishing in 2010 their Accessible Technology Charter, and support other members in aligning their organisations.

MISC - *10 Masterpiece Buildings That Turn Concrete into Poetry

10 Masterpiece Buildings That Turn Concrete into Poetry

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10 Masterpiece Buildings That Turn Concrete into Poetry -

The material may more commonly be associated with drab, rain-stained affordable housing. But, as a new book from Phaidon proves, concrete can sing.

Virtually all of the masterpieces of modern architecture have one thing in common - they’re constructed, at least in part, of concrete. Popularly maligned as the stuff of ugly, depressing housing blocks or cold industrial buildings, the material has also enabled the best designers to create the most breath-taking structures of the last century - from Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, to Oscar Niemeyer’s Brasilia and Tadao Ando’s Church of the Light.

Those, and many other Modernist landmarks, are represented in Concrete, a new book from Phaidon thoughtfully and comprehensively compiled by William Hall to showcase the noble material’s breadth of form, texture, and purpose. Say what you will about Brutalists’ hulking monolithic masses, but even they occasionally employed concrete to, in Leonard Koren’s words, “create three-dimensional poetry.” Louis Kahn’s much-celebrated Salk Institute for Biological Studies, whose buildings frame an extended vista of San Diego, is such an example.

As Koren writes in the accompanying essay, “Concrete is a noble material. Its development is one of humankind’s greatest achievements. It might not be up there with the discovery of fire on demand, but it is greater than the invention of plywood; perhaps even on a par with the advent of steelmaking.” And it’s got a considerable advantage over wood - it’s fireproof.

For more information click here

QUIZ - *Monthly Quiz


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For your chance to win a £20 John Lewis voucher just answer three questions about the newsletter through the Constructing Equality Ltd Website

Last month's winner was Julie Greenfield.

1. Which company has introduced a social enterprise brokering service?

·         Wates

·         Lend Lease

.         Land Securities 


2. According to the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) there has been an increase in the amount of A-levels being achieved - which subject had the largest increase?

·         Maths

.         Physics

·         Chemistry


3. What is the increase of the Muslim population between 2001 and 2011 

·         1.4 Million
·         1.5 Million
·         1.7 Million


Submit answers