Since April 2016, a 260-strong Wates workforce has undertaken housing maintenance and repairs across West Central and East Birmingham, covering over 31,000 properties throughout the city. These include 12,664 properties in West Central Birmingham, including Perry Barr and Ladywood district, and 18,383 properties in East Birmingham, including Hodge Hill, Yardley and Hall Green districts.
As part of these works, Wates has pledged to develop a local supply chain to help bring an economic boost to the city and the surrounding areas. This includes hosting supplier days to provide local firms with information on how to secure work through the contract. £7.8m has subsequently been spent with small businesses since the contract went live on 1 April 2016, with 44 of those companies situated within a 20-mile radius of Birmingham, generating £12.7m in economic benefit for the local economy.
Wates has also worked with its local supply chain to deliver a range of training and employment opportunities for young people, including a Building Futures programme – that provides local jobseekers with construction training and advice on finding employment – at its Tyseley office.
As part of these sessions, supply chain partners including Travis Perkins, Dodd Group, Paint360, Local Run and Niyaa People hosted employability skills workshops for candidates, enabling them to practice their interview techniques and to discover how to stand out in the job market.
Ten candidates completed the course and all have subsequently been offered work placements, either with Wates or its supply chain partners. Three participants have also gone on to gain full time employment. In addition, Wates has demonstrated its commitment to apprenticeships, taking on eight individuals to learn a trade in fields such as electrical installation, maintenance and plumbing.
We are regularly engaging with our partners in the community to ensure the work we undertake across the city benefits those who need it most. From ensuring our supply chain is populated with local firms to helping jobseekers secure employment, we are committed to making a meaningful and lasting impact on Birmingham’s economy.
We achieved much in the first 12 months, but over the next three years of the contract we are determined to do more – we will strive to continually improve the service we provide our customers while making bigger and better contributions to the city as a whole.”
Stewart Reid, Regional Director, Wates Living Space