Set up by Contractor Connection in the UK, the Contractor Connection Foundation reflects and supports Crawford’s goals – the promotion and growth of a more open, diverse and sustainable construction and repair market environment.Crawford prides itself on giving back to the communities it serves and aims to be responsible stewards of its resources. The Contractor Connection Foundation believes that these commitments are best demonstrated through action – so here is a snapshot of what the Foundation is doing:
- Today, women only make up around 14% of construction industry professionals. Partnering with The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Crawford is committed to encouraging women to pursue successful careers in construction, providing first-hand knowledge and supporting them in developing skills.
- As well as NAWIC, the Foundation has also been able to create highly valuable partnerships with a number of influential bodies. These include Building Heroes, which provide short construction training courses and assists military veterans and service leavers into the construction as tradesmen in the industry.
- The UK construction industry is facing a massive skills shortage – the worst since 1998. To help address this challenge, we have also set up a general apprenticeship scheme in which, for every £500,000 of business we provide to a particular contractor, we encourage that organization to employ an apprentice — either one they source themselves, or a recent trainee from NAWIC or Building Heroes.
- The Crawford Academy is also a central component of our commitment to supporting a sustainable industry. Through this we provide the opportunity to retrain any people who have come through these schemes so that they can take up a position in the insurance sector.
- In addition, we have partnered with the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), a charity that lobbies governments to promote a greener and more socially fair environment in the residential and commercial construction sectors.
- Support for Youthbuild UK who works with organisations to promote and share best practice, and recognise the achievements of disadvantaged young people.
Now, the Contractor Connection Foundation is proudly working to support its newest partner, The Lighthouse Club - the only charity in the construction industry that provides mental, physical and financial support to workers and their families.
The Lighthouse Club has launched its new ‘Help Inside the Hard Hat’ initiative to raise awareness of poor mental health within the industry. In the UK, two construction workers take their own lives every working day, while stress, anxiety and depression account for a fifth of all work-related illnesses.
The Lighthouse Club underpins ‘Help Inside the Hard Hat’ by providing a huge range of proactive support and resources for the construction community, including a 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline, a free app and mental health training.
The Lighthouse Club will also be out ‘On Site’, spreading the word about their charitable services and reaching out to the frontline trades. Their team will visit builders’ merchants, hire centres and construction sites across the country. Find out where they’re heading next.
Lee Sadowski, managing director, UK & Ireland, Crawford Contractor Connection, says “the Foundation is making significant strides towards a more diverse, open and sustainable construction industry. For me, the superb and much-needed mental health support offered by Lighthouse Club is a logical extension of our construction industry partner network”.
For those who are able to attend, find out more about the Contractor Connection Foundation at the upcoming annual Crawford Contractor Connection® Conference & Expo on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 October 2022 at Stadium MK, DoubleTree by Hilton Milton Keynes.