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Construction Workers Want Mental Health Support In New Jobs

Almost nine in every ten construction workers think mental health support is important when choosing their next jobs.

Research undertaken by Randstad UK found 88 per cent of construction workers viewed the provision of mental health support as important when choosing their next job — with 39 per cent viewing it as very important and 49 per cent viewing it as somewhat important.

The data suggests mental health support is now the fourth most important factor involved in choosing a new job: only pay, work/life balance, and job security were deemed as more important by workers.

The provision of mental health support was judged to be of more importance than a host of other factors including a potential employer’s flexibility in terms of working hours; the number of days annual leave; training and development; career advancement opportunities; an employer’s values and purpose (e.g. diversity or transparency); an employer’s stance on environmental issues; the provision of health insurance; parental leave policies; an employer’s stance on social and political issues; and the option to travel to, or work in a new city or country.

The research showed that the provision of mental health support is much more important to construction workers than it is to workers in other lines of work, including industries such as IT and financial services. Telecommunications professionals, for example, see the provision of mental health support as only the seventh most important factor when choosing a new job — and only 71 per cent of civil servants said it was an important factor.

Si Harris, senior operations director of Randstad UK’s construction recruitment team said: “The message appears to be getting through and construction workers are taking the provision of mental health at work seriously. They’re right to. The Lighthouse Charity says that, in the UK, two construction workers take their own lives every working day. Stress, depression or anxiety accounts for 27 per cent of work-related illnesses in the industry.

“Our latest construction industry health report found that more than a third of 3,400 construction workers we polled had experienced a mental health condition within the previous 12 months — just under a quarter of construction workers told us they were considering leaving the industry in the next year as a result. Employers now need to start looking at their benefits packages and ensure they reflect the importance of mental health support to workers — not only from the point of what is morally right, but also, pragmatically, from the point of view of their employer brand.”

Randstad’s construction and property team placed more than 20,000 people into a wide range of permanent and contractor roles within the construction industry across the UK and Ireland last year.

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