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Construction Management and Economics

Volume 31, Issue 8, 2013

Special Issue:   Equality, diversity and inclusion in the construction industry

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Construction as a career choice for young disabled people: dispelling the myths

Construction as a career choice for young disabled people: dispelling the myths

Marcus Ormeroda* & Rita Newtona

pages 928-938


Disabled people want to have the same opportunities and experiences as everyone else, yet owing to a number of barriers they are often excluded from meaningful employment. There are few statistics available in the UK to provide an accurate understanding of the number of disabled people within construction, and there remains a lack of research on employment, disability and construction. The perceptions of, and barriers faced by, young disabled people in considering potential employment in the construction industry were investigated. A participatory research approach was adopted which places disabled people at the heart of the research process. A mix of interviews and mini focus groups was undertaken with a total of 49 participants drawn from the North West of England. The need for inclusive approaches within the construction industry came across strongly, with participants preferring to be treated equally rather than being treated favourably. Disabled young people are unlikely to consider employment within construction without better awareness raising by industry–both employers and professional institutions–of the range and scope of opportunities available, and a dispelling of the myths that construction is for able-bodied, fit, men.


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  • Received: 13 Jun 2012
  • Accepted: 13 Feb 2013
  • Published online: 02 Apr 2013

Author affiliations

  • a SURFACE Inclusive Design Research Centre, School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, Salford, UK.

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