Wates Construction's economic boost allows social enterprises to soar | Wates

Wates Construction recorded a £100,000 spend with the Northern Home Counties’ social enterprise (SE) sector in 2017.

During the twelve months, Wates incorporated nine SEs into its supply chain across ten of its projects. The project which achieved the highest SE spend was RAF Marham in Norfolk, where £20,921 was spent with the sector as part of Wates’ work in building new facilities for the forthcoming F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

The £100,000 figure forms part of the Wates Group’s nationwide pledge to spend over £20m with social enterprises by 2020, with each of the Group’s business units committing to employ at least one SE on each of its projects.

Research commissioned by Wates last year revealed that expenditure with social enterprises generates 77% more social value or £1.77 for every £1 spent than when spending with commercial businesses, meaning during 2017 Wates generated £177,000 in social value for the Northern Home Counties economy*.

One of the SEs Wates worked and spent £15,000 with over the last year was Norfolk-based TrAC, a non-profit organisation which provides employment opportunities for apprentices within the construction industry.

TrAC currently has five apprentices working in Norfolk and four working in the Suffolk area. Through the SE, fourteen placements were secured with different companies in the region last year, with five apprentices going on to graduate programmes and thirteen finding employment.

Ian Vickers, Managing Director, Wates Construction Home Counties, commented:

“At Wates an important aspect of our work is that at the end of every project, we are not just handing over a new building but have provided added value for the community, whether that be employment opportunities, a chance to learn new skills or financial investment into the local economy. It is encouraging to know that every penny spent with TrAC and other SEs goes straight back into supporting local people.

I am extremely proud to see how Wates has managed to invest such a fantastic amount into social enterprises during 2017. As we look to further grow our financial commitment to the sector, we hope it inspires other businesses to work with and include SEs within their supply chains.”

Sally Moore, Director of TrAC, said:

“TrAC is delighted to have collaborated with Wates Construction to support the early career of a Level 3 Construction Management Apprentice who has now progressed onto the Wates graduate programme. We look forward to working with Wates Construction to support the delivery of social value on future projects.”

* NEF Consulting and Wates Group Report 2017

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