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New Measures Brought in by RIBA to Tackle Inequality

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced that as part of an ongoing commitment to drive out inequality from the construction industry, new stricter accreditation will be brought in for RIBA Chartered Practices.

The new rules mean that from 1st January 2016 architecture practices will be expected to improve their levels of equality, diversity and inclusion.

In addition practices will now also need to commit to paying all students at least the UK Living Wage and if the practice is located in the capital, the London Living Wage should be paid.

The accreditation changes were approved by RIBA’s Membership Committee.

Talking about the new accreditation rules Jane Duncan, RIBA President Elect and champion of Equality and Diversity, said:

“Every employee deserves to be treated fairly for the contribution they make. I am delighted that our practices will be enshrining their commitment to equality and fairness by signing up to the new accreditation criteria.

“These important changes are a vital step to driving positive change and encouraging talent to join and stay in the profession.

“Working as a collective and galvanised profession we can make a real difference by stamping out inequality.”

The RIBA will shortly be publishing an EDI toolkit to assist practices in developing appropriate policies.

In recent times there have been calls from both industry leaders and the media for more women to pursue a career in the construction industry in light of a skills shortage.


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Gender diversity in the industry is almost non existent with women making up a miserly 11% of the whole construction industry workforce, and this figure also includes a large number of women who do desk based work such as design or secretarial roles. When it comes to building sites, surveys show that only 1% of the workers are women, while only 20% of registered architects in Britain are women.

News this week suggests that the skill shortage is worsening with many firms claiming they are now are unable to bid for work they would have previously taken on due to a lack of qualified staff.

A survey shows that the number of contractors unable to recruit the skilled labour they need is at a 14 year high, and comes at a time when there has been a surge in demand from clients with large increases in orders and enquiries during the first financial quarter of 2015.

A lack of qualifications and a lack of experience were the main reasons given to why construction firms fond it difficult to fill vacancies. Many believe that inspiring people from diverse backgrounds and promoting the advantages of a career in construction can help to boost the number of young people coming into the industry in the future. RIBA's new equality measures can only help in this aim.


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