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ACA commits to transforming culture in construction

ACA members

Australia’s major construction companies have made a commitment to transform the culture of the industry to address widespread workforce shortages and better position the industry for the future.

At the Future of Construction Summit – which commenced yesterday in Melbourne – members of the Australian Constructors Association (ACA) pledged to transform the industry from the bottom up, setting ambitious goals for gender equality and flexibility.

ACA CEO Jon Davies said the pledge aims to address two significant industry issues that are known to impact on culture.

“Starting with gender equality, we commit to 75 per cent of ACA members being certified an Employer of Choice by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) within five years,” Davies said.

“As the most male dominated industry in Australia and with the widest pay gap of any, this is an ambitious target that will promote gender equality and greater diversity and inclusion.

“To further raise the bar industry-wide, the second target area is workplace flexibility.

“ACA members will mandate flexible work plans for employees on every project, both office and site roles, in a move to address the long hours, high stress and poor work-life balance that characterises the industry.

“Whilst other international jurisdictions are moving to legislate flexible working options ACA members are not waiting for the Australian Government to follow suit.”

With major workforce shortages right now, the ACA has further pledged to rebrand the industry and attract more workers.

“Construction is a varied and exciting industry that solves complex challenges every day,” Davies said.

“There are opportunities for everyone, and we will be lifting the curtain on those opportunities and promoting them.

“Today’s announcement is a bottom-up approach that does not require anything of anyone other than ACA members.”

The pledge aims to demonstrate that the ACA is taking action on matters it can control while progressing important initiatives with the government and other industry stakeholders.

“One such initiative is the Culture Standard developed by the ACA in partnership with the governments of NSW and Victoria,” Davies said. “The initiative, currently being tested on various Victorian and NSW projects, takes a procurement-based, top-down approach to cultural transformation.

“ACA’s pledge now puts several aspects of the Culture Standard into practice.

“Now is the time for change and we commit to taking the first steps.”

The ACA is Australia’s representative body for contractors delivering vertical and horizontal projects, as well as undertaking infrastructure asset management. ACA Members include Acciona, BESIX Watpac, Bouygues Construction, Built, Clough, CPB Contractors, Downer, Fulton Hogan, Ghella, Icon, John Holland, Laing O’Rourke, Lendlease, McConnell Dowell, Multiplex, Seymour Whyte, UGL and WeBuild.

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