Kier has put 900 staff through mental health first aid training, to be able to support colleagues with mental difficulties, and is now putting them through a course on modern slavery.
The training, delivered by a social enterprise called Jericho, teaches participants how to identify the signs of exploitation.
Kier is also introducing a Level 1 qualification that has been created with the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and the Skills & Education Group. This is being delivered by Boston College and Sheffield College, providing information on basic employment rights provided by UK law, how to report concerns and how to help prevent workers from being exploited
Kier says that it is the first UK construction company to introduce this course. David Foster, group legal and compliance director, said: “Modern slavery and any exploitation on site is unacceptable and, working alongside the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), we’re working to eradicate it and prevent it across our operations.
“Our mental health first Aiders are a fantastic community who support our colleagues and, through this new addition to their training, they will be better able to spot any signs of modern slavery trafficking or exploitation on site.”
GLAA head of prevention and partnerships Frank Hanson said: “We know only too well that construction is a high-risk sector for modern slavery so we were delighted to support Kier in providing them with the resources to train their mental health first aiders in spotting the signs of exploitation.
“This is something that could easily be replicated across the labour market and we would encourage other employers to follow Kier’s lead. They would be using existing products and by engaging with the right partners, helping to make the workplace safer for everyone, including for workers within their supply chains.”