HS2 Marketplace, which launched yesterday, is designed to support companies of all sizes who are engaged in HS2’s supply chain by equipping them with the tools they need to embed equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) best practice across their business processes.
The new platform is designed and backed by diversity and inclusion consultant the Clear Company who have awarded HS2 their Clear Assured Platinum Standard accreditation.
Through the Marketplace platform, businesses can access training and resources to support them in meeting and evaluating progress against key performance indicators set by HS2, in line with the Clear Assured standard.
HS2 is a new high speed railway linking up London, the Midlands, the North and Scotland serving over 25 stations, including eight of Britain’s 10 largest cities and connecting around 30 million people.
Over 2,300 businesses have already been contracted to work on HS2 and thousands more are expected to join them as £25bn worth of HS2 contract opportunities flow out into the wider supply chain over the coming years.
HS2 hope that embedding a contractual commitment for its suppliers to champion diversity and create inclusive working environments will lead to improved outcomes and opportunities for workforces right across the country.
‘A significant step forward’
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.”
HS2’s supply chain is already performing well, with the number of disabled, Black and Ethnically Diverse, and female workers exceeding industry averages. Through the launch of HS2 Marketplace, the company aims to ensure the continuation of this trend.
HS2’s seven construction partners have already introduced a number of practical measures to champion diversity, inclusion, and employee wellbeing across their worksites.
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.
The Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS) is upgrading its employee app to enable staff to capture, track and monitor EDI best practice.
While 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.
Mark Lomas, head of 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.”
Image credit: HS2
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