Executive chairman Robert Moyle told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting today that NMC “needs to rebalance both its gender and ethnic diversity”.
NMC is on a cultural transition programme as part of a wider recruitment and retention campaign to ensure that it can to continue to grow.
Mr Moyle, who has been with the company for more than 40 years and the boss for nearly 30, said it all comes down to trust. “Currently the national average for the employment of women in construction is 11%, the group figure is currently 10%, but both of these two figures are far too low," he said. "The solution to these problems lies in our hands. The maintenance and promotion of our core values and the strong sense of a family company are a key element, but it is also about trust and that for this group is key. We trust our people and our customers trust us to deliver.”
He continued: “Relationships with key educational establishments are being maintained and expanded and current employees incentivised to attract new personnel into the group.”
The company is also looking to ex-offenders to make up shortages.
“A new exciting initiative is underway with the Prison Service locally to rehabilitate ex-offenders and reskill them for roles within this group,” Mr Moyle said. “The response so far has been very encouraging and is a further example of the collaborative ethos engrained in this group to achieve mutual benefit for all parties involved.”
But retention is just as important as recruitment, he said.
“The development and retention of our existing employees is also of paramount importance to deliver the succession required to maintain growth. The retention of the Investors in People Gold status accreditation was an achievement to be particularly proud of and we aspire to achieve the pinnacle of Platinum within the next five years. The leadership and management level 3, 5 and 7 courses have been maintained and the innovative projects undertaken by the individuals have been fed back into the business and resulted in a tangible business improvement. The individuals engaged on level 7 have been collectively engaged on the twin projects of improved communication and brand analysis. An exhaustive consultation document has been produced and the recommendations contained therein are currently under consideration. In parallel, technical training has continued apace and so far this year 1,277 days have been undertaken, an increase of 6.8% over the previous year.”
In an update on current trading, he said that revenue in the first quarter of the year had increased by 4.7% to £62.24m and profit had more than doubled to £580,000 compared with £237,000 for the same period in 2016. However the net margin, while improving to 0.93%, remained “an unsatisfactory return”, the chairman said.