Culture Standard essay encourages employment diversity

Designed to improve worker well-being and work-life balance, a new cultural norm is being tested in five pilot projects to improve culture and encourage women in the New Wales construction industry Southern and Victorian era.

The cultural norm aims to improve the culture and present workers with the opportunity for great careers in the construction industry, while creating an economic boost for the nation, without sacrificing construction efficiency and without building the projects on time.

The new standards were developed by the Construction Industry Culture Task Force (CICT) – a collaboration between the governments of Victoria and New South Wales, the Australian Builders Association and academics leading research.

Gabrielle Trainor AO, President of CICT, said the pilots are a collaborative effort to improve the culture in the construction industry and attract more women. Typical construction projects see staff working long hours and weekends, which can be a barrier for many potential employees.

“The pilot projects will test the impacts of flexible and capped work hours on construction workers, the implementation of plans to increase women’s participation and mental health programs,” Ms Trainor said.

“Flexible and capped working hours allow elements of the standard to reduce stress, improve well-being and safety, and, just as importantly, the family life of construction workers and the attractiveness of the industry as a workplace.

“Improving industry culture is essential at a time when we need at least 105,000 new workers to fill the infrastructure pipeline and a drastic increase in productivity.

“The evidence so far is compelling and the pilots will build on existing research, testing implementation of the standard in field projects and building a strong, contemporary evidence base for its adoption.

Ms Trainor said the evidence strongly suggests that flexibility and capped hours increase productivity and that working hours are inextricably linked to diversity and mental health outcomes.

“Furthermore, there is no evidence that these work hour changes negatively impact programs or budgets – on the contrary, they save money and, more importantly, lives,” Ms. Trainer.

“The collaboration and vision of industry, government, labor and other key stakeholders to effect real and lasting culture change has been key to securing these pilots. We are grateful for the work done to date and recognize that the projects represent a big step towards building an evidence base to drive change in all Australian jurisdictions,” said Ms Trainor.

CICT has announced its first five pilot project sites in Australia, which include different project types, contract models and sizes.

The first five Australian pilot project sites announced by CICT are:

  • Narre Warren Cranbourne Road Improvement (VIC)
  • Brunt Road (VIC) Crossing Removal Project
  • New Wentworth Point High School (NSW)
  • Transport for New South Wales Mulgoa Road Upgrade Project Stage 1 (NSW)
  • The fifth pilot includes a study of the experiences of infrastructure interns in New South Wales

The New South Wales Government Infrastructure Internship began in 2021 and creates employment and training opportunities for school leavers in Year 12. While studying for a Cert IV qualification, interns complete eight-month rotations with government and industry to gain broad exposure to the infrastructure industry. Office roles appeal to local women, First Nations and youth, and offer a unique insight into the culture of the industry from their perspective.

The pilot project research is to be carried out by a team of leading Australian academics led by Professor Helen Lingard of RMIT and including contributions from the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University and the University of Tasmania , as well as Frontier Economics. It will include collecting feedback from affected workers, modeling cost-benefit analysis and analyzing project data to help test, holistically, the impact of the standard on workers, their families, the project and the wider industry and community.

Pilot projects

Name of the project: Narre Warren Cranbourne Road Improvement (VIC)
Major Victoria Road Projects (MRPV)
McConnell Dowell

The Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road Improvement is part of the $3 billion commuter road improvements. The works will add an extra lane in each direction between Thompsons Road and the South Gippsland Highway to improve traffic flow, journey times and safety.

Name of the project: Brunt Road (VIC) Crossing Removal Project
Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP)
Fulton–Hogan

The communities of Beaconsfield and Officier will soon benefit from an elevated road bridge at Brunt Road, removing the dangerous and congested level crossing and improving safety in south-east Melbourne.

Name of the project: School infrastructure NSW Wentworth Point new high school (NSW)
Contract not yet awarded

A new secondary school is being developed to cater for the growing population of Wentworth Point, Sydney Olympic Park and Concord West.

The high school will have flexible teaching and learning spaces for approximately 1,500 students as well as a multi-purpose sports and performance hall, outdoor spaces including landscaped recreation areas, playgrounds and canteen facilities.

Name of the project: Stage 1 Mulgoa Road Improvement Project (NSW)
Transport for New South Wales
Contract not yet awarded

The Australian and New South Wales governments are upgrading Mulgoa Road in Jamisontown between Jeanette Street and Blaikie Road from two to three lanes in each direction and the M4 motorway exit ramps. The project has been designed to meet the current and future traffic demands of this growing area of ​​western Sydney.

Industry welcomes trials

Head of Insurance at Infrastructure New South Wales, Marina van Der Walt, thanked the pilot teams for helping to create a positive industry culture.

“We have been delighted with the enthusiasm we have received from everyone involved in the pilots to help kick-start the culture change that is essential to ensure we are a sustainable and productive industry with healthy and safe workers. diverse,” Ms. van Der Walt said.

Victoria’s Major Transport Infrastructure Authority chief executive Corey Hannett said government and industry had a role to play in improving the culture.

“Having an engaged and healthy workforce is critical to the success of our projects. We are delighted to partner with the industry to roll out the Cultural Standard on major construction projects in Victoria to improve construction culture,” said Mr Hannett.

Australian Constructors Association CEO Jon Davies said the industry is seeing unprecedented alignment around the need for change – government, industry and trade unions are all in agreement.

“The current universal agreement on the need for change provides an opportunity to transform our industry into one that represents global best practice and is an industry of choice,” Davies said.

Elna M. Lemons