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INdividuals helped into employment


Spent with We Are social enterprise

Key partner

at HMP Lincoln Drylining academy

Helping people find good careers with We Are Social Enterprise 

We work with recruitment agencies that help people facing barriers to employment.

Willmott Dixon’s work to improve outcomes for people who face barriers to employment is a cornerstone of our Now or Never sustainability strategy and was recognised by our King’s Awards for Enterprise for promoting opportunity in 2023.

In collaboration with partners like We Are Social Enterprise – a recruitment agency focused on helping people most distant from the labour market into construction – we are committed to help people find good careers.

WASE Logo HQ.jpgBy choosing to work with We Are Social Enterprise (WASE), Willmott Dixon can help to support people develop sustainable careers, some of them in our business. Tailored to the construction industry, WASE registers candidates who are most distant from employment, including ex-offenders, ex-military, care leavers and the local unemployed and supporting them into work. They engage with individuals to overcome employment barriers, increase self-confidence, and raise awareness of the opportunities within construction. The company make profits like a regular business but reinvests or donate them to make positive change.

We started working with WASE in 2020, spending £85k in the North of England. Since then, we have supported them to grow nationally working with our supply chain team to make a bigger difference. Five of Willmott Dixon’s regional teams now use WASE and to date we have spent over a £2.7m with them. They have been one of the supply chain partners involved in our Willmott Dixon Drylining Academy at HMP Lincoln, helping to deliver quality vocational training that gives prisoners a much better chance of getting a job on release.

Since 2021, WASE has helped recruit and place 477 individuals who face barriers to employment in roles with Willmott Dixon.

We Are Enterprise Recruitment co founders James McBride and Lyndon Timings-Thompson AI.jpg

James Mc Bride, Director of WASE (pictured above left, with co-founder Lyndon Timings-Thompson), said: “Working in partnership with Willmott Dixon has had a significantly positive impact on WASE and the individuals we serve. Our collaboration has not only strengthened our operations but has also brought about positive transformations in the lives of disadvantaged individuals we work with.

Grant CSCS card.jpeg

“Take Grant for example (pictured right) . He wanted to get into construction but wasn’t sure how. We gave him grant support, funded his CSCS card and Willmott Dixon gave Grant an opportunity on the Project Newton site in Billingham to gain paid work within construction.

“Through our partnership with Willmott Dixon, we've been able to expand our reach and deepen our impact in local communities. Together, we've created meaningful employment opportunities and provided essential support to individuals facing various barriers to success. From employability training to mentorship initiatives, our collaboration has equipped participants with the tools and confidence they need to succeed in the workforce.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support and collaboration of Willmott Dixon, and we look forward to continuing our journey of creating positive change and empowering disadvantaged communities together.”

Vickie Thornton.jpgWillmott Dixon’s Vickie Thornton (right) was helped back into work after a career break by WASE.

Vickie said: “We Are Social Enterprise offered me an agency position with Willmott Dixon as a site administrator and document controller on the Kirklees district headquarters project for West Yorkshire Police, which is near where I live.

“They had full appreciation that I was a mother returning to work following maternity leave and were incredibly flexible during the whole process of me transitioning back into work following almost a full year off.”

After six months in the project role, Vickie successfully applied to become Willmott Dixon’s Social Value Coordinator for the Yorkshire region, an achievement she puts down to the support she received.

“WASE supported me through regular phone calls, drop ins to site to check how I was doing and being on hand if I needed anything. I applied for a vacancy with Willmott Dixon and throughout this process WASE offered me additional interview support and I am still a full-time employee.”

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Vickie working on a project with Brandon Cope, Senior Recruitment Consultant and Social Value Lead at We Are Social Enterprise.