Free training to help secure rail and road construction contracts

Free training

HS2 Ltd, Highways England, Network Rail and Transport for London have joined forces to encourage SMEs to register for free training courses, designed to improve their prospects of meeting equality, diversity and inclusion

Working in partnership with the Supply Chain Sustainability School, the four transport bodies want to make it easier for companies to demonstrate their commitment to the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) agenda.

The Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Programme has been developed for the construction industry to provide an industry context to the EDI agenda.

The Supply Chain Sustainability School is recognised as a leading training provider and has supported SMEs with accessing free training since 2012.

Through the FIR programme, they have supported over 2,000 businesses, helping them to improve their understanding of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect, and its importance in the workplace.

All four organisations outline good practice standards and requirements expected from suppliers to win work.

Collectively, the four bodies are now supporting UK businesses to get ‘contract ready’ by providing access to a consistent source of training. This removes the requirement for businesses to complete numerous training and assessment programmes to satisfy multiple clients.

The CITB have funded the FIR Programme for five years, but with the economic impact of Covid, they had to reduce funding for this financial year, which meant the FIR programme faced challenges in sustaining its full offer of training.

Businesses can access free online EDI/FIR training pathways at which cover the following topics:

  • FIR e-learning: Recruiting people, fairly and inclusively
  • FIR e-learning: Managing challenging conversations
  • The business case for fairness, inclusion & respect
  • Monitoring & reporting workplace diversity
  • FIR in procurement and supply chain management
  • Understanding unconscious bias
  • Mental wellbeing in construction.

Mark Lomas, head of EDI at HS2 Ltd, said: “We’re passionate about improving EDI and FIRs outcomes right across our supply chain.

“A project the size, scale and longevity of HS2 offers a unique opportunity to deliver measured improvements that can improve people’s working lives and career prospects.

“We’re proud to be supporting this initiative and hope to see many SMEs registering to take part.”


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