Dyslexia brings a different way of thinking that benefits site teams
Dorking Committee member Luke Birkett has brought together the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) and the CIOB with a view to running a campaign to create awareness of dyslexia in construction.
Birkett, who is dyslexic, aims to create a cross-industry ‘Dyslexia In Construction’ platform, with industry bodies supporting and promoting all people affected by dyslexia in a positive way.
“I am trying to bring awareness to the construction industry about dyslexia, as it has not really been touched on and has a lot of potential for positive promotion,” he says.
“Because my dyslexic brain is wired up differently, my way of thinking can be very different to the rest of the team”
“There will be a lot of people in construction who will be able to relate to my story; I think construction is a very common industry for people with different forms of dyslexia or similar disabilities to go into, as it can be a very practical-based industry.”
Birkett believes a neurodiverse workforce has enormous benefits. “Because my dyslexic brain is wired up differently to those who don’t have dyslexia, my way of thinking can be very different to the rest of the team so my thoughts and ideas are considered great contributions to different scenarios because of my thinking out of the box,” he says.
Having struggled at school because his dyslexia wasn’t recognised, Birkett began his career as an apprentice bricklayer and now runs his own business, Future Homes. He is by his own admission “addicted to training”.
Currently studying for a doctorate in Business Administration, he has spent his career building his qualifications.
“While working my way up the construction management career ladder, I had realised that the graduate managers were stronger on paper than me from my practical background, which drove me to want to acquire as many qualifications as I could,” he says.
“Even though I did not enjoy academic study, I put myself through all of the training and courses I have completed to date so I could be the best I could be at what I do.” He achieved his MCIOB status four years ago.
● Look out for announcements about the CIOB/BDA collaboration later in the year.