HS2 contractor hits gold for diversity and inclusion best practice

HS2 construction partner BBV hits gold for diversity and inclusion best practice.

HS2’s construction partner, Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV), has been recognised for its diversity and inclusion best practice.

BBV has been awarded the Clear Assured Gold standard accreditation for its commitment to embedding inclusive best practice into all elements of its work.

HS2 set the standard when it achieved Platinum status – the only company in the UK to do so – in February 2021. 

Now its construction partners, and businesses within the wider supply chain, are being supported to achieve the same high standards across their recruitment practices and workplace environments.

Natalie Penrose, head of legacy at HS2, said: “Almost 30,000 people are now working on HS2, and we’ve made a steadfast commitment to ensuring our workforce is representative of the diverse communities that Britain’s new railway will serve.

“By striving to ensure that our working practices and construction sites are safe, inclusive, and responsive to individuals’ needs, we’re making great waves in attracting more women and people from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups into our workforce.”

The Clear Assured Framework is underpinned by a robust audit and evidence-based assessment process that examines all aspects of an organisation’s performance to ensure it embeds and promotes equality, diversity and inclusion (ED and I).

BBV has made significant strides in its commitment to the EDI agenda, having first achieved Bronze status in January 2021, Silver in October 2021 and now Gold status in October 2022. 

Lucy Jones, HR director at Balfour Beatty VINCI, said: “Achieving Gold accreditation is great recognition of the foundations we have laid at Balfour Beatty VINCI since 2020. 

“We hope it sends a clear message to those thinking about a career in the construction and infrastructure sectors that we are committed to creating an inclusive workplace for everyone.

“We have made significant strides in this space, but we also recognise that more can always be done. We will continue to make improvements across our joint venture, drive behavioural change, and support underrepresented groups including through engagement with our valued supply chain partners.”

BBV scored highly across a number of categories, including Finding Talent, Policy and Procedure, Assessing Talent and Retaining Talent. The construction company was also praised for its transparent approach, delivering training programmes and its work with third-party suppliers.

Head of Clear Assured, Anna Mäkinen, added: “Achieving Clear Assured Gold accreditation is a marvellous milestone for Balfour Beatty VINCI and demonstrates ED&I is fully integrated into the business.”

BBV estimates it will support around 7,000 jobs to deliver its programme of work on HS2 and it places a strong focus on supporting local people, particularly those who are out of work, into new careers within the construction sector.

Through its specialist training academies across the West Midlands, BBV invests in helping people to develop new skills which will enable them to play a key role in HS2’s construction.

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