A trade body has made a £350,000 funding pledge to raise awareness of mental health issues in the UK’s engineering construction sector.
The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) said its recent industry survey has shown increased demand form mental health training.
ECITB will provide the funding over the next two years to equip staff with the skills to recognise and deal with the problems.
Chief executive Chris Claydon said: “Like roles in many dynamic areas of the UK economy, engineering construction industry jobs can be demanding, high pressured and involve irregular working patterns, all of which can impact on an employee’s mental health.
“In recent years industry has worked tirelessly to eliminate hazards, reduce risks and address the health and safety implications of projects.
“With the known impact of mental health on an individual’s physical abilities and decision-making, it makes sense that we view mental health and safety with the same importance as physical health and safety.
“Support for this training will not only improve wellbeing of our workforce and the safety of workplaces, but will also have a positive impact on efficiency and productivity.”
The funding will include courses for surpervisors and managers provided by Mental Health First Aid.
Dawn James, vice president for new nuclear and generation services at Wood and ECITBbBoard member, said: “Since I started in industry 30 years ago I’ve seen a shift in how mental health in the workplace is viewed, with the consensus now that it has both serious human and financial costs. Recent research points to around 400,000 lost working days across the UK each year due to stress, anxiety and depression, so this is clearly a significant issue for industry.
“I’m really pleased the ECITB has recognised the need for greater mental health awareness in the workplace and responded to demand from employers to support this important area of training.”