Mayor of London chooses Birmingham consultancy to launch large-scale construction project

Mac Alonge
X The Business Desk

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Birmingham-based equality, diversity and inclusion consultancy, The Equal Group, has launched a recruitment drive alongside the Mayor of London to encourage more young Black men into the construction industry.

The three-day event will start today to tackle the current under-representation seen across the construction and infrastructure sectors.

The Mayor of London Recruitment Drive for Young Black Men is a virtual event by Greater London Authority (GLA) and The Equal Group showcasing career opportunities in construction for young Black men. From Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 September, attendees will hear from a host of guest speakers and leading organisations, including the likes of Balfour Beatty, Kier, McGinley Support Services, and Thames Water, to name a few.

The event is being delivered in collaboration with the GLA Workforce Integration Network (WIN), which was launched in 2018 as part of the Mayor of London’s Strategy for Social Integration to improve pathways for underrepresented groups in the workplace. As part of this commitment, the WIN Design Lab is currently focused on supporting young Black men into significant and substantial employment across London.

Deputy Mayor for Communities and Social Justice, Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, said: “The pandemic has exacerbated many of the challenges facing young Black men as they seek good employment and fulfilling careers. The Mayor and I are committed to tackling inequalities and this programme is designed to address barriers facing underrepresented groups in the workplace. By working with The Equal Group, I’m proud that we are actively creating opportunities for young Black men to enter the construction and infrastructure sectors.”

The Workforce Integration Network aims to create a more socially integrated city by breaking down the inequalities that London citizens face in their everyday lives. One major inequality is disproportionate levels of unemployment and barriers to accessing and progressing in work. This Recruitment Drive comes as young Black Men have some of the highest unemployment rates in London: 33%, compared to 15% for young white men.

Mac Alonge, CEO of The Equal Group, added: “We are pleased to be extending our partnership with the Mayor of London in an effort to attract more young Black Men to the construction and infrastructure sectors. These are high growth sectors with a plethora of exciting opportunities both now and in years to come, as the sector transitions to take account of the circular economy, connected cities and further digital innovation.

“We are proud to have worked with some of the largest construction and infrastructure organisations to transform the way that they approach equality, diversity and inclusion, with a focus on making sustainable change. This programme is not just about providing job opportunities for young Black Men, but about changing the way that organisations operate to ensure that young Black Men and individuals from other marginalised groups can have long term and successful careers within these sectors.”

The three-day Mayor of London Recruitment Drive for Young Black Men will consist of presentations, introductions to apprentices and graduate employees, live Q&A sessions and, importantly, networking and recruitment opportunities. Companies involved include Skanska, Affinity Water, Kier, McGinley Support Services, Ground Control, Northumbrian Water Group, Jacobs Engineering Group, ISG, Morrison Water Services, Balfour Beatty, Mott Macdonald, and Thames Water.