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Jason Dowling, Carillion plc - King Richard School partnership

South East Local Impact Award 2013 - Employee Volunteer of the Year sponsored by Legal & General - Winner 2013

Carillion were keen to engage with the local community and, in line, with the company’s vision and values, employee Jason Dowling saw an opportunity to invest in the future local workforce through the large number of existing employees' children attending the local King Richard School.

Business impacts

  • The partnership Jason has developed with King Richard School has enabled Carillion to ensure the local community is a potential source of their future workforce.
  • Jason's role as an ambassador for Carillion in the community has improved local people’s perception and understanding of the company.
  • Carillion now employ just under 1000 staff on the Portsmouth site, all from the local community.
  • Staff engaged through the interventions have benefited in their personal development.

Social impacts

  • King Richard School achieved its best ever GCSE results in summer 2009, and on the basis of contextual value added tables, the school has moved into the top 5% most improved in the country.
  • Extra tutoring is provided in English and Maths for students not on track to achieve their grades, along with Easter and Half Term support sessions for Years 10 and 11.
  • Opportunities to experience jobs through on-site work experience in roles such as catering, cleaning and portering helps motivate students to work harder.
  • Jason joined the Governing Body of King Richard School in the Autumn Term of 2009, appointed by the School Trust as a Trust Parent Governor.

Carillion plc logoHaving won one of their largest health contracts in Portsmouth, Carillion identified a significant opportunity to develop sustainable relationships with the local community. Local residents face a number of key challenges, with some neighbourhoods falling within the UK’s top 10% most deprived areas.  The hospital on which Carillion are working sits on the edge of one of these communities, with education and employability of local residents a long-term issue.  Many families face fourth generation unemployment, with resulting low aspirations amongst the younger generation.

Local secondary school King Richard at the time faced a number of challenges, including low GCSE pass rates, absenteeism and lack of parent engagement. Jason recognised that forming a long-term partnership with the school would allow his skills and expertise, and those of others within the business to be shared with the local community. Jason inspired colleagues to get involved and, as the local champion, worked to establish a mutually beneficial and sustainable partnership with Kings Richard School.

A father of young children himself, Jason recognised that not all young people had the same opportunities as others more fortunate.  He was mindful that with his passion and knowledge he could offer inspiration to a generation who otherwise could become another statistic - not in education, employment or training.

Jason’s involvement has continued to grow, resulting in him now being a Senior Governor. Other projects developed by Jason to support students include the provision of work experience, careers days, engaging students in developing a newsletter and providing live briefs aligned to course requirements.

His positive “can do” approach and his ability to motivate others has helped to develop strong relationships.  Over the last seven years, Jason has personally volunteered 616 hours, and more than 30 of Carillion’s management team have supported the Work Placement Programme he introduced.

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