Inquiry report

The Commission launched an Inquiry into Race discrimination in the Construction Industry in January 2009. It examined the nature and causes of non white ethnic minority underrepresentation within the construction industry (the Industry).

Inquiry report

Download: Race discrimination in the construction industry inquiry report
Full version | Executive summary (PDF)


Using a combination of evidence-gathering questionnaires, interviews and research, the Inquiry has found that:

  • Non-white ethnic minorities are no less likely than white people to find work in the Industry appealing. However, levels of representation remain low across the Industry. Non-white ethnic minorities make up just 3.3% of the Industry workforce compared to 7.9% of the national workforce.
  • Despite positive initiatives across the Industry to increase diversity, the level of non-white ethnic minority representation has gone up by only 1.4% in ten years.
  • There are problems with the image of the Industry - perceived by a third of non-white ethnic minorities who were surveyed for the Inquiry as more racist than other industries.
  • Non-white ethnic minorities tend to be less aware of the potential range of roles and opportunities within the Industry.
  • Word of mouth recruitment remains a significant barrier to both employment and access to some aspects of training.
  • A lack of job or career progression and problems making the transition from training to work appear to be major factors involved in non-white ethnic minority underrepresentation.

The Inquiry Report makes 31 broad-based recommendations for key issues to be addressed to improve representation of non-white ethnic minorities in the Industry. These range from training and education, recruitment and contracting, retention, unlawful discrimination, monitoring and influencing change.

You can view the terms of reference for this Inquiry here.

Last Updated: 16 Feb 2010