Considerate Constructors Scheme
BEST PRACTICE HUB

Construction’s First Impressions

The urgent need to attract new people into construction means it has never been more important to consider the impression our industry makes on future workers. The Scheme’s ‘First Impressions’ initiative looks to explore this subject, and provide guidance and examples of best practice for different types of sites.

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Introduction

‘Construction’s First Impressions’ has been developed with Partners to improve the image of the industry, by ensuring that the appearance of construction sites create an excellent first impression.

The aim of this initiative is to re-purpose the use and understanding of hoardings, so they can be used as advertising for the site, the company and the industry.

The construction industry is set to double its output over the next 20 years and there is a need to make the sector as appealing as possible, as a career option to all.

The construction industry has a huge impact on the UK population and therefore should do all it can to present itself in the best way with construction sites being the main interaction between the industry and the public. Ensuring sites are presented in a clear, professional, well-managed way will help to demonstrate that the construction industry is a good place to work and encourage people to enter the industry.

The Considerate Constructors Scheme supports the promise to potential new starters that they will be working in a professional industry. Therefore, the Scheme has created a strategy over five years focusing on each element of the Code of Considerate Practice; Appearance, Community, Environment, Safety and Workforce.

Unfortunately, there are still some sites that are letting the industry down in terms of the appearance of their sites, vehicles and workforce.

The vision is to improve the image of the construction industry by ensuring that site appearance is regarded as an essential requirement in creating a good first impression. More professional-looking sites will serve as attractive advertisements for the industry and help to recruit the next generation of workers.

The industry needs to understand their audience. The entrance to a site and the enclosures are a window into the site, project and company. Consideration needs to be given to whether you would walk past and think – is this an industry I would want to work for?

Graduate input

To start this process, the Considerate Constructors Scheme liaised with Partners to discuss the main elements of this First Impressions initiative.

A team of graduates from Skanska and Canary Wharf Contractors were tasked to work together to focus on four areas of appearance and why they are so important, as well as looking at different levels of best practice in each of these four areas.

These graduates considered current standards of site appearance and developed four modules to enhance and promote the image and presentation of sites, with the aim to raise minimum standards of appearance across the industry.

The industry should take on board the various levels of best practice within the following four modules:

  • Exterior signage
  • Career opportunities
  • Selling the project
  • Promoting performance

As part of this Construction’s First Impressions initiative, we also asked Scheme Monitors to provide pictures of sites which are already promoting a positive industry image.

These photos will continue to be added to the CCS First Impressions Instagram account.

 

Please promote your own images of construction industry appearance on Instagram using #firstimpressions and make sure that you tag the Scheme ccsfirstimpressions

 

 

Exterior signage

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Exterior signage

The external appearance and signage displayed should create a positive first impression.

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Selling the project

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Selling the project

Hoardings should be used to promote the benefits of the project and advertise company values.

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Career opportunities

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Career opportunities

Career opportunities should be promoted to highlight the variety of roles available and encourage a diverse workforce for the future.

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Promoting performance

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Promoting performance

Sustainable performance should be promoted and sites should aim to overturn the misconception that construction work is disorganised and wasteful.

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Conclusion

All Scheme-registered sites, companies and suppliers should work towards meeting at least the basic standards highlighted in the four modules above.

In summary, efforts should be made to ensure that exterior signage is clear, concise and attractive to passers-by and potential future industry talent. Promoting career opportunities can help to raise awareness and understanding of the roles available and encourage a diverse population in the UK to consider a career in construction. Hoardings should ‘sell’ the project in a positive way, including the benefits that the site will bring to the local community. Finally, sites should aim to promote their economic, environmental and social performance to the general public, to demonstrate all of the amazing work that they are carrying out.

Through caring for the appearance and ensuring that sites are professional, tidy, organised and well-managed, this will promote a positive image of the industry and help to continuously erase any negative stereotypes or old-fashioned views and opinions relating to construction.

Whilst Scheme Monitors will not mark down sites which do not introduce the items or ideas from Construction’s First Impressions, they equally will not score sites with the highest scores where something has not been done to address at least the ethos of this initiative to improve the image of the industry.

Site managers should take the time to look at their site’s appearance and consider what they could do to improve and make their site look more professional, from the ideas listed throughout the modules.

The common aim for everyone is to work together to continuously improve the overall image of the construction industry.

 

If you would like to share any examples of best practice relating to first impressions or improving the appearance of your site, please email enquiries@ccsbestpractice.org.uk or submit your example directly to the Best Practice Hub by clicking here.

 

Follow the Scheme on Instagram to see and/or share ‘Construction’s First Impressions’ images @ccsfirstimpressions

 

 

 

Close career opportunities

Career opportunities

 

Why is this important?

It is widely believed that there is a major skills shortage within the construction industry that is only going to worsen given the current age profile and recruitment rates. It is thought that part of the reason for this is a lack of understanding of the roles available and the benefits that the industry can provide. An increase in the promotion of the career opportunities within the construction industry to the wider public and schoolchildren in particular is hoped to overcome this skills shortage and increase recruitment rates within the industry.

What should we be doing?

Sites should be aiming to promote, in a variety of methods, the benefits and opportunities that the industry can provide. Awareness of the different roles available, both on and off site, to men and women should be highlighted, as well as information on how to find vacancies within the industry, whether this be within your company or in the industry as a whole.

 

Suggested activities

To view examples of best practice relating to the ‘career opportunities’ module, click here.
Download the module 
Close promoting performance

Promoting performance

 

Why is this important?

As social consciousness of sustainability has grown, so too has the negative perception that construction is a wasteful, resource-intensive industry. That was perhaps correct 10+ years ago but as the digital revolution is embraced by those within construction it will continue to evolve and find efficiencies which will inherently minimise the industry’s environmental footprint. The way in which an organisation addresses positive social, environmental and economic performance is also a fundamental criteria for the latest job seekers. In addition, the introduction of the Social Value Act has highlighted the benefits that development brings to the communities in which we work.

What should we be doing?

Sites should promote their economic, environmental and social performance externally to the community and the general public to highlight the benefits of local construction.

 

Suggested activities

To view examples of best practice relating to the ‘promoting performance’ module, click here.
Download the module 
Close exterior signage

Exterior signage

 

Why is this important?

It is a common sight to see construction hoardings plastered in warning signs. Much of this repeats the same messaging and is not relevant to those reading it.  This signage, which warns of the dangers that could be faced in and around the site, creates an unwelcoming and unattractive first impression.  This gives a perception that construction sites should be avoided, which ultimately could discourage pursuits of a career within the industry. The message should be that construction is a great place to work and is capable of attracting and retaining the best talent.

What should we be doing?

Sites should consider removing unnecessary health and safety signage on hoarding as a minimum. Creating more visually-appealing signage would also be beneficial, with the complete removal of all health and safety signage from exterior hoarding viewed as the most favourable approach to declutter a site’s appearance.

 

Suggested activities

To view examples of best practice relating to the ‘exterior signage’ module, click here.
Download the module 
Close selling the project

Selling the project

 

Why is this important?

Project information displayed on a hoarding will bring greater understanding of the work undertaken by the company and generate a more positive view of the project as a whole. This is a great way of informing the local community, leading to a better relationship and reduction in the number of complaints received.

Hoarding could also be used to increase the company brand awareness, therefore making the company more attractive to potential employees, buyers or clients.

What should we be doing?

There are various ways to sell the project to the public using the exterior facing hoarding. Promoting the project information and benefits will inform the public of why the construction site is there and remind them of the benefits it will bring to the local community. This is also an opportunity to advertise unusual features of the project, as well as promoting company values and achievements.

 

Suggested activities

To view examples of best practice relating to the ‘selling the project’ module, click here.
Download the module