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Friday, 9 November, 2001, 14:23 GMT
Builders' rears given bum's rush
Two bricklayers
The old loutish image of the builder is under attack
The bulging builder's bottom is the target of a campaign to revamp the image of the UK's bricklayers and carpenters.

A Hertfordshire building contractor has issued its workers with a new uniform - a pair of heavy-duty denim dungarees - to cement a new image for its staff.

The St Albans-based Borras Construction has added the slogan "No Bums at Borras" to the back of the dungarees.

The company's 110-strong team of builders will be wearing the new uniforms on building sites across London and the South East to help hammer home the message that not all builders conform to the stereotype.

New uniform for builders
The message on the jeans: 'No bums at Borras'

"Whilst there is a small number of firms who live up to the stereotype, the media is often to blame in portraying builders as loutish and unprofessional and the industry in general as a place for unscrupulous cowboys," said Rae Borras, the firm's managing director.

Mr Borras said: "The industry's poor image doesn't help it attract new recruits."

Recruitment crisis

The initiative is designed to help reverse the stereotypical image of builders and send out a clear message to the public that professional building firms offer excellent career paths.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB), the trade association representing the interests of almost 4,000 construction firms across England and Wales, has backed the campaign.

Not only is this stereotype unfair and unrepresentative, but it deters many people from even considering a career in construction

Ron Seddon National Federation of Builders

Ron Seddon, regional director of the NFB in Hertfordshire, said the building industry is facing a recruitment crisis, with many firms needing skilled workers.

"Not only is this stereotype unfair and unrepresentative, but it deters many people from even considering a career in construction," he said.

Rae Borras said: "The reality is that the vast majority of builders in this country are honest, hard-working and passionate about delivering a high quality service to their customers.

"Our industry, and its hundreds of professional construction firms across the region, account for a sizeable part of the local economy and provide a wide range of career prospects for ambitious and adventurous people.

"We need to do more to attract new recruits into the industry and part of the battle is reversing people's perception of it."

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See also:

17 Oct 01 | Business
Building up skills in construction
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