I was interested to read the comment by Antony Oliver (NCE 5 December 2002) on the need to widen the talent pool in the construction industry.
It would be useful to draw attention to the Jive Partners programme, which is operating in Wales, Yorkshire and Humber, London and the South East.
The programme offers free staff development training for learning providers and workbased learning for careers guidance professionals, and will also offer a similar service to employers, in particular SMEs, in engineering, construction and technology.
Although Jive Partners comes under the European Social Fund EQUAL Programme, it is being funded by a number of sources, and operates through a national and transnational network of partner organisations from the public, voluntary and private sectors.
The training material has been developed to encourage good and bad practice to be shared, in particular, in recruitment, training, employment and retention of women. It was developed by engineers and craftspeople from these sectors, is participatory and specifically focuses on what can practically be done.
As a civil engineer who has worked in industry, education and the voluntary sectors, I thoroughly recommend this training to anyone seriously considering responding positively to the lack of diversity in our profession.
Sarah House (M), JIVE Partners regional coordinator for Yorkshire and Humber region.
s. house@bilk. ac. uk