Who says collaboration is difficult?
An example of collaboration in the UK construction sector to respond to the Modern Slavery Act
The supply chain sustainability school since its inception has won awards, diversified into other sectors including FM, Infrastructure, Homes and Off Site and developed and delivered expert resources including e-learning modules, supplier days and sustainability workshops. This has all been done to increase awareness and capacity and capability of the construction supply chain when considering sustainability as part of their offering.
However the dynamic changed and stepped up a level in 2015. A group of school partners (including principle contractors and suppliers), universities and construction bodies considered how to react to the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
What resulted was a brilliant example of individuals and organisations striving not only to do the right thing but also make a difference.
In my 16 years in construction (I know that is only a drop in the ocean compared to some) I never thought I would see principle contractors sharing ideas and establish common agreement when trying to address a challenge for the industry. Mainly contractors are in competition and don’t want to share anything but this is changing.
The school has successfully proved that collaboration is good and can reap benefits for all. In terms of modern slavery it is a subject matter that I challenge any human being not to get personally invested in when they understand the impact exploitation can have on innocent families and individuals.
Whilst all the partner organisations are in the process of developing their own statements and trying to embed processes and policies to respond to the problem, they still managed to work together over the last few months and develop materials for the membership of the school
A website has been set up that hosts resources for members to have access to:
Members can get access to a multitude of resources including videos; e-learning modules and documents written by the group to provide guidance:
Summary of the Modern Slavery Act
A series of summary papers have been written and published providing members with information relating to the Act, the requirements for transparent supply chains and the Immigration Act which requires similar checks and balances to be considered.
A guide was also written to support the procurement process providing advice and examples of how members can embed requirements relating to modern slavery within their procurement processes and documents
Further developments from this group throughout 2016 will include:
• Toolbox talks for site operatives
• Additional e-learning modules for organisations
• Organisational guide to modern slavery
Whilst the group has not been able to develop the silver bullet that will eradicate labour exploitation for ever, it has been a joy to work with a group of individuals and organisations who have with all the best intentions managed to start educating their supply chain and get the conversation started. This is the power of collaboration at work...
We would like to thank the following organisations for their continued participation in the special interest group
Supply Chain School