Angelica Ling - Laing_O'Rourke_01-min

Why we are here

Construction is not viewed as an employer of choice

A diverse range of rewarding and essential jobs are available in our sector, including site-based construction, design, architecture, technical, engineering, finance and corporate services roles.

The Construction Industry Culture Taskforce (CICT) is focused on addressing three key areas:

  • Long Working Hours: Hours of work are excessive, resulting in high rates of turnover, absenteeism, and stress-related leave.
  • Lack of Diversity: Our industry lacks diversity with only 12% of female workers across all jobs in the sector, meaning we are forgoing the talents of a large proportion of available workers. While many people of different ethnic backgrounds are part of the sector, diversity could be greater than it is now.
  • Wellbeing: Research shows stress levels and suicide rates amongst construction workers are double the national average.

New research commissioned from BIS Oxford Economics, 'The Cost of Doing Nothing Report,' finds that these cultural issues are costing the Australian economy nearly $8 billion annually due to workplace injuries, mental illness, suicide, long work hours and a lack of diversity.

At a time when we are preparing to deliver on an unprecedented infrastructure pipeline and fill an additional 105,000 jobs by 2023, we need to act quickly to improve productivity by supporting our workforce and adopting a more sustainable approach to our work.

The solution

A new Culture Standard will transform the capacity and effectiveness of the industry, and the lives of those working in it.

The Culture Standard provides a framework for clients and contractors to work in partnership to address significant challenges facing the industry.

Our academic partners, who have decades of real-world construction-specific experience are conducting a robust research program to ensure the Culture Standard is effective in transforming the industry and making critical productivity gains.

The Culture Standard focuses on transforming the industry via three key areas:

1. Time for Life:

Ensuring our workforce is provided adequate time to rest and pursue life activities outside of work

2. Wellbeing:

Ensuring the occupational health and mental wellbeing of our workforce is prioritised

3. Diversity and Inclusion:

Ensuring the industry can attract and retain a diverse range of people to work in our industry.

These reforms will have a real and timely impact on the lives of our workers, and our industry’s capacity to boost Australia’s economic recovery in the wake of of coronavirus.

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What’s involved

Everyone has a role to play in making the Culture Standard a reality.

The construction industry and its customers and partners need to work together to make lasting cultural change.

The Culture Standard will establish a standard approach to improved practices for all members of the industry to meet.

Industry customers will need to support this cultural shift by committing to buy construction services that meet the Culture Standard.

For the public sector, this means piloting the Culture Standard across a range of projects of different sizes, types and contract models.