Professor Charles Egbu, Vice-Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, has joined an array of speakers from the Leeds City Region to discuss equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the built environment – his subject area of expertise.

The seminar, curated and hosted by Leeds City Council, invited speakers from the private and public sector who explained how inclusion will shape the built environment industry and how businesses can prepare.

This comes as Leeds Trinity University has developed a suite of new programmes in Construction and the Built Environment to meet the increasing employment needs within this expanding sector, alongside its existing Supply Chain Leadership Degree Apprenticeship.

The event highlighted how the construction industry faces many challenges, including a shortage of skilled workers, and how a greater focus on EDI can help meet this and other similar challenges in the future.

At the seminar, Professor Egbu provided insight into addressing EDI within construction and the built environment, and how Higher Education Institutions are tackling this. He also discussed ways to help encourage people to take up roles in construction.

Quantity Surveyor and academic Professor Charles Egbu has been a leader in Higher Education for over 25 years and is one of the first Black university Vice-Chancellors in the UK.

Prior to his current role at Leeds Trinity, Professor Egbu was Dean of the School of Built Environment and Architecture at London South Bank University, Head of the School of Built Environment at the University of Salford, and held academic posts at University College London, Glasgow Caledonian University and Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Metropolitan).

His first Degree was in Quantity Surveying and his Doctorate was obtained in Construction Project Management. Earlier this year, Professor Egbu was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in recognition of his contribution to architecture.

Professor Egbu said: “It was an honour to be invited to speak at this seminar and to hear from my peers across the region. The built environment should be for everyone. The more inclusive we become, the better we are able to serve the needs of all in our community.

“My research interests focus on project management, construction management and sustainable development; subjects about which I have authored books and contributed to more than 350 publications in various international journals and conferences. I am also committed to diversifying the sector, developing apprenticeship programmes and championing initiatives to raise awareness on mental health issues in the construction industry.

“I am proud to have played a part in being able to offer new degrees in Construction Management, Construction Project Management and Quantity Surveying at Leeds Trinity, and look forward to welcoming students from 2024.”

Other speakers at the seminar included Martin Farrington, Director of City Development at Leeds City Council; Fatima Khan-Shah, Inclusivity Champion at West Yorkshire Combined Authority; Nikki Davis, Principal of Leeds College of Building; and Charlotte Leigh and Jo Ellis-Mace from Mace Construction.

Professor Charles Egbu commented: “It's a pleasure to be working with organisations in the Leeds City Region and beyond, and I am certain with the support, innovation and drive of everybody in our community, we can meet our collective ambition to be a fair and just city.”

Leeds Trinity University is holding a Skills and Innovation Challenges in Construction and the Built Environment event on Wednesday 15 November 2023 from 8.30am – 1.30pm at The Marriott Hotel in Leeds City Centre. This will be an opportunity to hear from sector experts and discuss skills challenges facing the construction and built environment sector.