Our communities include our people, customers and supply chain as well as wider community organisations and groups, so we listen carefully to understand where we can have the most impact.
Our social value activities connect us with thousands of people. What is important to us is that what we do is important to the community. In 2021, 81% of the people who engaged in our programmes or activities said our community initiatives had a high-impact on them and their future career or wellbeing.
Below is a snapshot of some of the initiatives we delivered in 2021.
Building Lives Programmes
To continue supporting people as we moved in and out of lockdowns, in 2021, we strengthened our national Building Lives Delivery Suite, which enables us to deliver individual activities and longer programmes in either a socially-distanced, digital, or face-to-face format.
We delivered 5,591 individual activities, including 343 Building Lives Programmes over the year. Some of our programmes followed a tried and tested format – such as our Enrichment Programme, which we created in partnership with the University of Birmingham School in 2016.
Some were new, including our first ‘Business Fundamentals’ virtual work experience delivered by a team of representatives from finance, IT, health and safety, the people team and sustainability. Of the attendees, all fed back that they would recommend our work experience to a friend and 78% would now consider a job in the construction industry.
Alongside our in-house programmes, we ran our first work experience programme in collaboration with Balfour Beatty plc, AMEY UK PLC and Wates Group. During the week-long programme, 130 students learnt about careers in construction, planning and project management and leadership and communication, all whilst working remotely in a team - essential skills for today's workplace.
We continued to deliver in-person training where possible, through our myriad of programmes; from our Building Lives Academies, which support local people with construction training, to educating young people about careers in our industry, to delivering apprenticeships and mentoring.
We responded to to societal challenges as they happened. We have taken on 16 apprentices through the Government's Kickstart Programme. Of these, one individual has secured employment with us and three have gained employment within our supply chain.
Each year we run our Willmott Dixon Foundation Trainee Challenge, where a group of management trainees representing each region delivers a project which will leave a lasting legacy in the local community.
The Trainee Challenge was created to support local communities and/or the environment, whilst giving our management trainees the opportunity to lead a project. What our trainees do is completely up to them – they just have to leave a social or environmental legacy. Projects have included incredible renovations, fundraising for charity, programmes to support people into careers, and more.
In 2021, collectively, our trainees managed to:
- Fundraise over £11,900
- Deliver employability programmes to 173 people
- Engage 40 volunteers from our supply chain, who donated over 140 hours supporting these projects
- Support/engage with 9 social enterprises
Find out more about our 2021 challenges, and other activities we delivered in our communities, here.