Neurodiverse Workers More Common in Construction, Survey Finds

A SURVEY of 1000 UK construction workers showed neurodiversity is particularly common in the industry, with one in four workers considering themselves to be neurodiverse.

The new report Neurodiversity in Construction launched by the National Federation of Builders (NFB) in conjunction with CITB and the People’s Partnership, found that being neurodiverse is encouraging people to pursue a career in construction.

Of those surveyed, a third of neurodiverse workers said that their condition made them want to work in construction, compared with only 5% who said it didn’t.

Neurodiversity in Construction

ADHD was found to be the most common neurodiverse condition in construction, followed by Autism and Dyslexia.

Overall, the survey found the construction sector to be supportive of neurodiverse employees, with 80% of respondents agreeing that their employers are proactively making adjustments to accommodate their needs. 67% also said they believe the industry is well-equipped to support neurodiverse individuals.

However, NFB says there is still progress to be made as the research also showed 36% of neurodiverse construction workers have not revealed their condition to anyone at work. 38% also said they believe there is little or no empathy for neurodiverse workers in the industry.

The report recommends four actions for industry to combat prejudice:

Increasing general awareness of neurodiversity
Ensure recruitment is open, accessible, and welcoming to neurodiverse people
Communicate effectively with neurodiverse workers
Create the right workplace environment for neurodiverse workers to thrive

Danny Clarke, NFB Commercial Director, said: “This study aims to set a baseline for the prevalence of neurodiverse workers in construction. We hope that this research and its recommendations will encourage a more inclusive environment and showcase the support available to neurodiverse workers.

“Our journey has just begun, we look forward to assisting our members and the industry with advice, guidance, and training on this essential topic, fostering a more compassionate and diverse workplace for everyone.”

Lawrence Webb, Neurodiversity expert, added: “This research is well timed and sends a clear, data-based message. It supports and endorses the opportunity that exists for us all to continue in the drive to be truly inclusive so we can all be at our best as teams, and as individuals.

“Those who are not neurotypical deserve the full understanding and support of work colleagues at all levels to enable, lever and maximise the benefits that come with full, unhindered access to the full work environment and all it has to offer.

“This is a win-win where together, we can unlock the potential that may be unrealised within at least one in seven of us, so together, we can all thrive.”

The Neurodiversity in Construction report outlines the challenges neurodiverse people face in the workplace and provides a set of recommendations for industry and employers on how to better support neurodiversity in construction. Download the report here.

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