Manufacturing is affected more than other sectors by automation and digitisation. The impact of this transformation is twofold; workers are threatened by redundancy due to a lack of relevant skills, and there is a corresponding skills gap, which is expected to increase.
Meanwhile, discrimination and systemic inequality mean that women and ethnic minorities are disadvantaged and under-represented in workforces, and particularly in senior positions. As a traditionally male-dominated sector, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) has a huge opportunity to improve equality, diversity and inclusion.
Embedding skills and knowledge
We are running upskilling and reskilling programmes to equip our people with the appropriate digital and technical skills they need, and helping the commercial sales team keep abreast of the latest in energy efficient solutions, so the business can lead the way on sustainability.
Since Covid, e-learning has increased in use and popularity so it will be key in our Learning and Development programme. Self-learning will be available across the business and will help with sustainability skills development, digital skills and technical skills. The key challenge will be to ensure our training is flexible and in constant evolution, to reflect the continuous innovation and introduction of new technologies in the manufacturing sector
Equality, diversity and inclusion
Companies with diverse and inclusive workforces and senior teams are known to outperform their less diverse peers. So having a policy of equality, diversity and inclusion is not only fairer, it makes sound business sense.
We are committed to increasing the proportion of women in senior management positions and eliminating pay gaps to ensure pay equity. We are also implementing a zero-discrimination culture.
We are investing in over 50 apprenticeships & internships across the Group by the end of 2023. This will enable young and new recruits to learn on the job, ensuring a pipeline of new talent, and we are planning to partner with relevant organisations to support STEM education in young people, women and under-represented groups.
Longer term, we want to cultivate a welcoming and inclusive image to attract people from different backgrounds, and will work with educational institutions to promote manufacturing skills training. In this way we hope to tackle the skills gap and diversity together, as there are clear overlaps between the two. Ultimately, we aim to transform the diversity of our workforce and lead the way as a dynamic, representative company where all are welcome.