↑ Dyslexia-friendly Colours
← Dyslexia-friendly Colours

Lanarkshire's construction industry and dyslexia training

Lanarkshire’s construction industry and dyslexia training – what’s the scale?

There are a lot of people in the local construction workforce who learn their trade from their company training in different ways when compared to their colleagues.For example, our sources indicate that one third of the workforce in the fields of architecture, design and engineering is dyslexic. They have issues at work with memory, communication and organisation.

When co-occurring learning differences such as ADHD and autism are also included, the incidence of different learning styles in the overall construction industry increases to an even more significant proportion.Knowing the extent of these differences matters in construction training, because the new National Infrastructure Plan for Skills requires companies to demonstrate their workforce skills development programmes when bidding for future infrastructure contracts.

Making confident adjustments for dyslexia is a key way of demonstrating your knowledge of how to improve training effectiveness across your organisation in this industry. Here we offer a way to do this, and explain why.

What proportion of workers have a dyslexia?

Dyslexia in Construction

How does this apply to Lanarkshire’s construction workforce?

Lanarkshire Construction and Dyslexia

What government support has been delivered?

In 2013-2014, the UK government’s Access to Work scheme supported 4,270 dyslexic workers across the entire UK workforce.

That is approximately:
1 dyslexic worker supported
for every
650 dyslexic workers not supported.

 At this standard rate, in Lanarkshire’s construction industry terms, this would roughly roll out as:

10 dyslexic construction trainees given support
6500 dyslexic construction trainees still in potential need of support.

 The challenge:

Not every dyslexic worker needs support by any means; it just needs to be there for every one that does. It isn’t. Even taking into account the construction industry’s existing strong focus on training quality, this need for support in order to achieve their best at work is still likely to exist in more than the 1 out of every 650 dyslexic workers currently being supported. The challenge is: supplying support for all who need it when the government is not delivering it.

 How much private training is being put into place?

There are shining individual examples of fully inclusive learning environments in UK industry today. However, our recent research project with the Employment Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University indicated that, overall, workplace training opportunities for increasing knowledge and understanding of dyslexia are “not very good at all”. There is good reason to change this situation, as the same small sample also said that they expected training on dyslexia would help to produce a more skilled workforce:

Benefits of Dyslexia Training

The Employment Research Institute concluded:

  • There is considerable scope to improve access to training for employees with dyslexia.
  • In cases where dyslexic employees are unable to access relevant training or support opportunities, there may be negative effects on their career development.

 The School of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield made this point back in 2011:

The recognition of higher levels of dyslexia among particular subjects
                  presents a requirement that in some areas greater attention is given to dyslexia.                   
                                                                                              (Dr. Robert Clarke)

How are we helping to make sure that “greater attention is given to dyslexia” in Lanarkshire’s construction industry?

1. Fortunately, most of the adjustments to training are simple and cost-effective to make, and the benefits are felt right across an organisation. Our specialist knowledge of how to make this happen at work led us to create the online training course Understanding Dyslexia In Business: Trainers, Coaches and MentorsIt gives workplace trainers the knowledge, skills and confidence to make their training programmes friendly for trainees with dyslexia and/or several co-occurring learning differences. It demonstrates a corporate commitment to inclusivity in training, and boosts the value of future project bids.

he course includes a six month online forum for trainers to talk with local dyslexia experts, and there’s a CPD
certificate awarded upon successful completion.
You can sample the course materials, learn more and also purchase copies at halfpennydevelopment.co.uk or via our course Facebook page.


2. As we are a company based in South Lanarkshire, we are able to discuss how we can help with your training requirements in person. Please contact us to arrange a free initial consultation.

Jan Halfpenny  

Jan is a dyslexia specialist who writes and trains on dyslexia in the business sector Read her blog on NIP for Skills and Dyslexia

Information sources
Richard Rogers, ICON 2004
University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC) 2009
University of Huddersfield 2011
Nicola Brunswick, Living With Dyslexia, 2011
Employment Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University 2013
Elisheva Schwartz, The Creativity Post 2014
Eide Clinic 2014
Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) 2014
Choose Lanarkshire 2015


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