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Hard hat scheme aims to protect heads and hearts

Published 11th May 21 - by saragouveia

A leading supplier of labour to the construction industry, has partnered with the Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS) to launch a campaign, encouraging those within the industry to embrace diversity and boost conversations around mental health.

Fortel Group, which supplies more than 2,000 staff to more than 130 projects across the UK, has collaborated with the SCSS to launch a sticker scheme, where staff who complete certain training use their hard-hat to highlight their expertise, as well as raising awareness on site as to who can be confidently and confidentially approached for conversations on these issues.

It is hoped that the scheme will encourage more people to undertake training, such as the SCSS’ Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Ambassador Programme, Mental Health First Aid training or Fortel Group’s own LGBTQ+ Ally training.

Amar Sandhawalia, Fortel Group Chief Operating Officer, said:

“The construction industry is making great strides towards creating a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment for people of all backgrounds. Our team works with our clients and partners at sites across the UK and we hope that by launching this scheme, we can start positive conversations, as well as boost awareness of the fantastic training opportunities that are available, such as those created by the Supply Chain Sustainability School. When someone goes out of their way to learn more about what they can do to help others feel comfortable in the workplace, we want them to be proud of that and encourage others to do the same.”

Fortel has a number of FIR ambassadors amongst its ranks, with all senior staff completing training during 2020. The Fairness, Inclusion & Respect (FIR) programme is an industry-wide initiative that aims to make workplaces better for everyone. The programme provides free, industry-endorsed training and resources that supports businesses to be more innovative and profitable by addressing workplace culture challenges and helps attract and retain people from the full pool of talent. Individuals who attend the FIR Ambassador training are expected to embody the principles of FIR: working collaboratively, whilst stepping in to take action, challenge behaviours and positively impacting workplace culture.

Ian Heptonstall, Director at the Supply Chain Sustainability School, said:

“We are thrilled to be supporting Fortel in rolling out their sticker scheme that identifies trained FIR Ambassadors on sites across the UK. This is a great initiative that encourages open conversations and will help nurture a more inclusive and respectful workplace culture. Thanks for being so pro-active and for joining us on our mission to make workplaces better for everyone.”

Fortel Group will continue to work with its partners to create stickers in line with any relevant training staff complete and will seek out training opportunities and new partners for the scheme as it grows.