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Contractors must get responsible

Construction companies can lead the field in corporate responsibility provided they match commitments to improve training and skills with action.

This will be suggested by Chartered institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Learning, Training and Development advisor John McGurk next month at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Corporate Responsibility (CR) Conference 0n 7 July.

McGurk will highlight the failure to match such pledges with action.

“We hear pledges from companies every day assuring us that people are their most important asset,” said McGurk. “I once witnessed a presentation in a previous role in the airline industry where the phrase was counted 11 times.

“The table showing the ranking of priorities later revealed it to be the ninth of 10 priorities.

“The issue of learning development linked with talent management, engagement and human capital is a lot more difficult than the glib statements on company accounts suggest. Getting it right can really drive a business towards consistent high performance.”

Getting it right

McGurk will also highlight the need to take so-called soft skills more seriously.

“I want to get the message across that ‘soft skills’ are actually highly tactical skills that can give the professional a real edge in an industry like construction where partnerships, joint ventures and integrated teams define best practice.”

“Contractors yet to adopt a positive outlook on Corporate Responsibility risk being left behind in the market place.”

John McGurk, CIPD

Following the publication last December of the CECA “CR Toolkit”, aimed at guiding contractors with no background in the subject to take the first steps on their own CR Journeys, CECA is hosting its own conference on Corporate Responsibility on 7 July.

“Contractors yet to adopt a positive outlook on CR risk being left behind in a market place that is increasingly demanding high standards of non-financial performance as well as financial performance.

“CR offers a means of getting the practice right as well as helping you prove that you take your stakeholder concerns seriously and can balance their objectives with your own,” said CECA national director Rosemary Beales.

“CECA’s conference will provide access to top construction industry CR professionals and experts from other areas to ensure that contractors can gain a sophisticated understanding of how this management discipline will develop.”

  • For more information and to see a full programme, visit
  • CECA’s conference will also host the inaugural NCE/CECA Civil Engineering Contractors of the Year Awards reception. Go to for more

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