Regional procurement framework brings employment and training boost | Wates
  • 54 jobs, 24 work experience and 19 apprenticeship opportunities created
  • 95.7 per cent SMEs within Wates’ empa supply chain
  • School visits held with 5,215 pupils and students across the East Midlands
  • 1,097 training days provided
  • 253 days of on-site skills training delivered
  • 252 people engaged at construction careers fairs

In the two years since its appointment to the framework, Wates has engaged a total of 5,215 pupils and students across the region to encourage young talent into the sector, as well as over 250 individuals at careers fairs.

The news comes as the UK Commission for Employment and Skills reports that the East Midlands is currently facing the largest skills gap in the United Kingdom, which stands at 16 per cent of the regional workforce lacking the skills required for their role*.

Wates’ presence in the region has included the transformation of Dakeyne Street and the construction of Heathfield Primary School, which join the portfolio of empa projects where 95.7 per cent of sub-contractors appointed have been SMEs.

Work in the region has also seen the contractor provide 1,097 training days in health and safety, professional development and sustainability, as well as 253 days worth of on-site skills training.

In addition, a host of professional and academic qualifications have been awarded to apprentices and employees at Wates, including nine NVQs and three degrees.

Regional business manager, Paul Windle at empa, added:

“At empa, we are committed to inspiring the next generation of workers by providing invaluable experience and career prospects through our empa Training Academy and on-site training. In 2015 alone, Wates and its partners helped secure almost 250 construction jobs in the industry, through the academy alone.

I would like to thank them for their continued commitment to the scheme which will help see more talented workers pursue a career in construction over the next few years.”

Wates was appointed to the framework agreement, which is managed by Scape, in 2014. The framework was established in 2008 by local authorities to improve the cost efficiency of property services for local communities.

* The Employer Skills Survey published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

Phil Harrison, Managing Director of Wates Construction Midlands and North, said:

Generating sustainable economic activity in the areas in which we work is a commitment at the heart of all of our operations. Wates’ role on the empa framework has enabled us to deliver on this promise and provide a lasting impact that will be felt by the East Midlands for years to come.

As the skills shortage continues to provide a challenge to the industry, it is imperative that we place focus on discovering hidden talent and engaging local SMEs to ensure the long-term success of the sector.

Wates’ role on the empa framework has seen us take steps towards remedying these issues and we urge other regional contractors to follow suit.

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