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As easy as one, two, three?

Everyone in construction loves numbers, right?

All of CN’s top stories today are about numbers - and they’re mostly good ones.

The construction of the £4.2bn Thames Tideway super sewer has moved closer as the client confirmed a £605m deal for the east works package, won by a major three-contractor JV, and a £416m contract for another three-firm JV for the western section.

Also announced today, as CN reported in February, was the £746m central contract winner, awarded to joint venture FLO -  Ferrovial Agroman UK and Laing O’Rourke Construction.

Lendlease’s European construction business increased revenue by 10 per cent to £667m and secured £830m of new work in the 12 months to June - up 120 per cent on last year.

And in the wider view, the Construction Products Association is predicting industry output will grow 4.9 per cent this year, driven by a 10 per cent rise in commercial construction - albeit that this forecast is a slight downgrade from the 5.5 per cent growth in a previous estimate.

But how does this next set of numbers make you feel?

Just 7.1 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual employees in construction would recommend the industry as a great place to work; and over 25 per cent of heterosexual employees in construction say they are not comfortable with LGB employees being open about their sexual orientation.

Most damningly, perhaps, just 12 per cent of LGB employees and only 24 per cent of heterosexual employees believe that being lesbian, gay or bisexual does not create barriers to career progression.

Construction has a problem. And, it appears it has a problem admitting it has a problem.

From inside the industry, perhaps these figures don’t look too bad. For anyone outside the industry, they are shocking.

If you want to tackle the skills shortage, it might be time to make genuine diversity one of your business objectives.

Even more numbers

102: the height in metres of what will be one of Birmingham’s tallest towers, given a green light last week.

30,000: the number of apprenticeships the government is pledging to create in the rail and roads sectors

Five: things that shouldn’t be in the sky - but are.


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