More than 400 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds have been recruited onto the life changing Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) awards programme by Amey, which provides public and regulated services across Britain.
Good for society
- Amey’s involvement with DofE has seen 407 disadvantaged young people learning new skills and developing confidence.
- The scheme has increased the number of young people volunteering in their communities and has helped to nurture social responsibility.
Good for business
- Getting access to a pool of under-used talent has supported Amey in both recruitment and retention of staff.
- Amey has been able to differentiate itself from other service providers and this has supported the company winning new tenders.
Top tips from Amey
Make sure you have senior leadership support; executive commitment is key.
Monitor your project and improve as you go, no project is perfect from the start.
Don’t work in isolation – there are plenty of charities and organisations that have the same goals as you, work with them.
Amey focuses on making a difference to lives and local communities, by providing young people with the opportunity to participate and complete their Duke of Edinburgh’s Business Award.
The DofE scheme supports personal development, such as resilience, team work, communication, problem solving and leadership skills. This develops maturity through awareness of social responsibility in the community. The charity’s aims and objectives are directly aligned to what Amey was seeking to develop in its own young people and so it was deemed a great partner.
Since 2010 Amey has recruited 462 apprentices, of whom 407 were eligible and have been enrolled on the DofE programme. Through Amey’s wider support of the DofE since 2014, over 23,000 participants, specifically from disadvantaged backgrounds, have gone through the programme.
The company began working with the DofE when it recognised that recruiting, inspiring and engaging young people would be a key element in achieving its growth strategy.
Amey currently employs 21,000 people delivering over 320 contracts, with a goal to create better places to live, work and travel. These contracts cover a diverse range of services including the management of utility networks, highways, waste, rail, justice solutions and facilities.
Involvement in the DofE enables Amey to differentiate itself from other providers when it comes to important local government contracts. The Social Value Act of 2012 aimed to get more social and environmental return for taxpayers’ money and Amey has found that being closely involved in DofE helps them deliver this.
In 2013 Amey acquired Enterprise, an organisation similar in size and service. The new merged businesses set new values, goals and objectives to bring cohesion, including a growth ambition to become a 28,000 employee, £3bn turnover organisation by 2018. Providing opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds was identified as a specific goal both in Amey’s growth plans and for many of its clients.
Amey’s partnership with DofE had two main drives: Skills for the Future, which aimed to strengthen the quality and attractiveness of the apprenticeship programme by embedding the completion of the DofE Business Award into it, and Supporting Communities, which focused on providing opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by helping the DofE target this group specifically.
The Amey/DofE partnership is governed by Management Board and a Steering Group; both groups are represented by senior leaders from Amey and the DofE.
Specific objectives are set by the Executive Committee on an annual basis, and all targets are aligned to corporate objectives and monitored through the Personal Development Review (PDR) process, which everybody at Amey undertakes.
Amey is currently working on a pilot with the Spanish Ministries’ of Employment & Education and the British Council to initiate a pilot apprenticeship programme for Spanish 16-24 year olds.
All apprentices are paid more than the National Minimum wage, irrespective of age. This supports the economic growth of local communities.
What Amey's CEO said:
“We believe the DofE is incredibly important, offering young people the opportunity to experience fresh challenges and achieve new skills, whilst contributing to their local community. We are extremely proud of our apprenticeship programme and the wider work we do to support both the professional and personal development of young people, as well as the charity itself.” - Andy Milner, CEO, Amey