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Mayor of London launches Cohort 2 for WIN Design Labs initiative!!

Change takes time and for some, it may seem like an eternity. However there is hope and lots of ground breaking work going on across the capital, led and funded by Sadiq Khan on behalf of the Mayoral Team / GLA.

The strict hour long agenda read as follows:

At its core, with the construction industry in its cross hairs, as part of the portfolio led by the Deputy Mayor of London, Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard _ is a new initiative commissioned by the GLA's Workforce Integration Network 'WIN Team' [administered by Phyllis Abebreseh, Rommell Wallace and Ladan Dirie].

Today's Design Labs launch of 'Cohort 2' sees the critical involvement from industry leaders committing to taking [and creating] bold steps in the direction of travel that has been years in the making [building on the work of the Moving on Up initiative back in April 2019]; not least of which, is a comprehensive response to both the 'current sentiment' and well documented 'business-case' for greater diversity, equity and inclusion.

Called 'Race in the Workplace' Baroness McGregor-Smith made the stark affirmation [in February 2017], that an inclusive workplace environment, accessible by all, could generate a further £24bn for the UK economy....... did it happen and how much left is there to do?

Credit: GOV.UK

Credit: Jordan Marshall / Building

The construction industry is at risk of underperforming in a post-Brexit environ and as such needs to galvanise and utilise every willing and able participant, which historically, has omitted the presence of young black men.

According to our founder and Chairman, Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS, for many years the question posed to him, has been "but why them, what is it about young black men, that makes them such a priority?". Well, the stats don't lie and the evidence speaks for itself........ with thanks to Graham Watts OBE who disclosed the following statistics, at today's event.

Following a tag in a tweet by Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, we noted the presence of another tweet posted by industry leading publication Building Magazine, who for many years have duly [and consistently] acknowledged the 'uncomfortable truths' in DE&I within and across the construction industry.

Credit: Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard

Credit: Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard

With attendance by a young black man, in the form of upcoming site-based Surveyor, Daniel John from Wates Group - other online participants were able to convene a perspective through his own lived experience; in fact his company use of Yammer as a mode of communication, was interesting to note.

Credit: Daniel John / Wates

In addition to such insights, Mac Alonge, CEO of the Equal Group then delivered his own perspective and wider ambitions for this strategic piece of work, amidst his national outlook and anticipated short, medium and long term strategy.

His commendable opening was further articulated by his combined mission and vision statements.........

Not without challenges, Cohort 2 has been instigated to successfully build upon the earlier combined efforts and successes gained from the participation of Cohort 1..... the list of 'early adopter's, detailed below was successfully launched on 26 January 2021.

After almost 6months into a 12month programme of activity, Cohort 1 are now embarking upon a massive recruitment drive, and recently began a targetted marketing campaign geared towards young black men, seeking interest, support and commitment from the wider industry. Hosted by the Equal Group, the three (3) day event is due to be held on the 5th, 6th and 7th of July 2021; the link to sign up can be found here.

With a final word from Building Magazine, we look forward to supporting the Mayors Office via the GLA, WIN and the Design Labs Team at the Equal Group.

Credit: Jordan Marshall / Building


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