A diverse place to work

2 min read

Michael Nathan, Senior Emerging Talent Manager at Mace, talks about diversity and attracting talent from under-represented groups.

There is diversity within construction apprentices and trainees in London… at least at Mace.


Mace is making progress with the challenge of attracting talent from under-represented groups to start and build careers in construction. In 2016 within our intake of graduates, apprentices and trainees, we were pleased with the diversity of who we recruited. Our 2016 graduate intake was 40% female, compared to 32.9% in 2015.


In 2016, we recruited 28 new starters on either an apprenticeship programme or traineeship in London. All are studying for a Level 4, or degree level qualification, on a part time basis in either construction management, quantity surveying or building services engineering. 35% of these are from black or minority ethnic groups and six (21%) of this cohort are female.


With both apprentices and graduates, our talent and development team have worked with colleagues in the business to coach them on maintaining objectivity and fairness when making recruitment decisions.


Senior female employees actively support the recruitment process which creates a positive impression on all applicants, not just women. When recruiting graduates we have an open mind to looking at applications from talented individuals who don’t have a degree in a construction subject but do show a passion to work for Mace and the behaviours to be successful.


We understand the challenge of getting young people interested in working in this industry and realise that changing the perception of the industry with young people is key. Colleagues at Mace readily give their time to present in schools and universities and we have developed a session for colleagues to run in secondary schools that shows the impact that the industry has on the world and the variety of career paths available.


The session can be run for students in Year 8 (12-13 years of age) or older. We feel that students’ thoughts of where they will look to work are formed early so the session has been piloted in schools in London that have a wide range of students both in terms of ethnicity but also in household income. In 2017 we aim to roll this out to schools across the UK and internationally. All Mace colleagues can deliver the session as part of the annual volunteering day everyone gets – where we can have a paid day out of work to support a charity or our local community.


Given our 2016 intake of apprentices and trainees are based in London, it was important that we had a cohort that to some degree represents the communities we operate in. We have made a fantastic start in increasing our diversity of graduates and apprentices and we will be building on this further in the coming years!

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