All HS2 subcontractors and suppliers will be expected to “embed Diversity and Inclusion best practice across their business processes.”
Leaders of the £106bn project have launched HS2 Marketplace which allows suppliers of all sizes access diversity training and resources.
The HS2 Marketplace platform is designed and backed by diversity and inclusion consultant the Clear Company who have awarded HS2 their Clear Assured Platinum Standard accreditation.
More than 2,300 businesses have already won work on HS2 and thousands more are expected to join them as £25bn worth of contract opportunities flow out into the wider supply chain over the coming years.
Bidders will be expected to use the Marketplace platform to access training and resources to support them in meeting and evaluating progress against key performance indicators set by HS2.
The key performance indicators are:
Training for all colleagues on Diversity and Inclusion specifically, legal obligations, inclusive job design, inclusive talent sourcing, inclusive shortlisting, the inclusive interview and creating an evidence-based audit trailEffective monitoring of Diversity and Inclusion at each stage of the recruitment cycleA reasonable adjustments programme for colleagues and candidates that is proactive, timely and effectiveEvidence of attracting a diverse candidate pool from both traditional and non-traditional recruitment channelsEvidence of creating an inclusive working environment for colleagues including flexible working, colleague networks and objective performance managementThe use of accessible technology for application and assessment
An HS2 spokesperson said: “HS2 expects all its suppliers to act in a manner which is consistent with the HS2 Values. Each Tier 1 contractor has specific contractual requirements in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion which flow down to the sub-contractors that they work with.”
HS2’s seven construction partners have already introduced a number of practical measures to champion diversity, inclusion and employee wellbeing across their worksites.
Mace Dragados has implemented a new ‘Make it Stick’ campaign, which ensures that LGBT + trained allies are easily identifiable on site through high visibility stickers worn on their hard hats.
Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall (EKFB) has developed a bespoke programme of men’s and women’s health workshops, as well as creating wellbeing and prayer room spaces at its construction sites while the Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS) is upgrading its employee app to enable staff to capture, track and monitor EDI best practice.
Mark Lomas, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at HS2 said: “With two decades of construction work ahead of us HS2 is naturally placed to be a real driver for change, and we’ll achieve this by ensuring that every company engaged in delivering Britain’s new railway plays their part in setting a new EDI standard.
“HS2 Marketplace enables our suppliers to be confident that their practices and processes, from recruitment through to the workplace environment, are truly inclusive and follow the best practice standards we expect.”
HS2 said its supply chain is already performing well, with the number of disabled, Black and Ethnically Diverse, and female workers exceeding industry averages.
Kate Headley, Director of the Clear Company said: “Once again HS2 have demonstrated ground-breaking progress and innovation with the launch of the Marketplace platform.
“This is a significant step forward in creating a truly inclusive engineering sector and the constructive, supportive approach will enable HS2 suppliers to improve access to long term career opportunities, for all people, right across the sector.”