Dan wakes up at 5.30am every day.
He starts his daily routine by studying for a few hours. He is currently on a technical placement with Carillion and is training to become an electrician.
At 8am, work on site starts. Dan shadows the Carillion facility managers, who are providing facilities services for a local prison, around the site: it’s a great opportunity for Dan to put his studying into practice.
Work finishes at 4.30pm and after this he is given two-and-a-half hours of free time. He usually spends it eating his dinner and socialising.
At 7pm, Dan is escorted back to his cell. Another two hours will be spent studying before he starts this routine over again the next day.
Dan is serving a custodial sentence, but is enrolled on the training programme with the contractor while serving time.
You could hear a pin dropping while Dan told his story to delegates attending the launch of Carillion’s ’Breaking Down One Million Barriers’ campaign.
The contractor has pledged to help one million people from disadvantaged backgrounds into the industry. As well as prisoners like Dan, Carillion is supporting people who face more obstacles than most into employment, such as those who are homeless, ex-military personnel.
CN talked to the firm’s CEO Richard Howson more generally about how being more inclusive can benefit a business after the launch of the campaign.
Mr Howson said embracing diversity is one key way to do this, as construction has been “far too male-dominated for far too long”.
Certainly, opening the industry’s doors and offering opportunities to a broader spectrum of people can be hugely positive.
Different sets of viewpoints, experiences and skills will only help to make businesses more all-rounded, more dynamic and more exciting – attractive qualities in an employer for prospective talent looking to enter into the industry.
And most importantly, it makes for a good business model.
What is arguably most powerful is the impact our industry could have when extending opportunities to those who need it most.
“The fact that I may be considered for a job with Carillion is invaluable,” Dan explains. “Without an opportunity like this, I could face homelessness.
“A lot of us want the chance to move on. We know we’re a burden on society, but there is a chance for a positive future.”
Investing in Talent
This year’s Construction Investing in Talent awards features a new ‘outreach’ category.
The award seeks to recognise those companies going the extra mile to raise awareness of the construction industry and recruit people from outside the industry to new roles in construction.