Research Report

Equality, diversity and inclusion in UK Foundation Industries

Summary Findings: Gender

Author

UKRI,


Foundation industries are those sectors and sub-sectors of the economy that are principally concerned with the manufacture of core materials that supply other industrial firms. They
play a crucial role in the economy, underpinning critical supply chains. In the UK, there are approximately 7,000 businesses in the six foundation industry sectors
included in this study (chemicals, cement, ceramics, glass, metal and paper), accounting  for just over five percent of businesses in the manufacturing sector. In total, the foundation
industries employ 253,825 people.

Research has shown that the foundation industries have faced a range of challenges since the financial crisis and more recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these
challenges relate to difficulties with staff recruitment and retention, as well as changing skills needs.
There is recognition that action needs to be taken to drive greater employee diversity, enabling firms to recruit from a wider and more socially representative labour pool. This will
allow them to effectively respond to future demands including the net zero challenge.


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