This first edition of our new series, Expert Opinion, focuses on EDI, something which is rightly becoming a business priority, but one on which tangible progress is often frustratingly slow. Indeed, despite research which proves that businesses with a diverse workforce consistently outperform those without, hidden barriers to diversity still exist in recruitment processes and early career work forces remain imbalanced. Only 11.3% of apprenticeship starts are made by BAME applicants, and whilst women represent more than half of all apprentices (54%), women represent only 8.1% of those in STEM. Just 10% of apprenticeship starts are by people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
In this first edition of Expert Opinion, we speak to Mark Lomas, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at HS2 about the changes employers can make to remove barriers to employment and ensure that they can access the talent that UK Plc is not currently making use of.