The importance of community investment to Wates Group has led the company to develop exemplary partnerships, including a relationship with Social Enterprise UK through which Wates makes a significant difference to the key issues of education, employment and enterprise.
- Employed 22 apprentices since 2010 through the Setting Out project.
- Over 300 participants in the Building Futures project have moved into employment or training - 50% of programme participants have been NEET and 10% have been ex-offenders.
- Traded £3.8 million with 31 social enterprises, equating to 45 part-time positions for people most disadvantaged in the job market.
- Retained 20 apprentices beyond their initial one-year contract through the Setting Out project.
- Wates has seen an 18% increase in the number of employees who believe the company makes a positive difference in communities since 2010.
- 73% of employees involved in the Building Futures project believe their involvement has had a positive impact on them personally.
Wates Group takes a holistic approach to community investment, prioritising the key social issues affecting its communities in a sustainable way for the business.
The company’s commitment to supporting communities is integral to the company, with both the Board and Wates family leading the Group’s investment. This support is underpinned by the Wates Foundation, which provides financial backing for the company’s programmes.
A key Wates Group programme is Building Futures, which aims to create local employment and training. The programme provides a two-week vocational training programme for individuals not in employment, education or training (NEET) aged 19 plus, delivered in partnership with Ixion Holdings Ltd.
Building Futures provides a QCF Level 1 Award in Building Crafts and basic construction training, underpinned by return to work skills to help the participants make the transition into employment or training.
Of the 53 programmes delivered across the UK since its launch, 78% have been in areas of highest UK deprivation. 616 people have been involved with the programme, 57% of whom have moved into education or training.
Wates has also taken a leadership position on supporting education. The company are a national partner of Business Class, BITC’s flagship education programme, which aims to establish long term partnerships between schools and businesses. Wates are currently involved with eight Business Class partnerships nationally, supporting over 2,500 schools whilst addressing the company’s key community issue of raising aspirations and developing skills amongst the next generation.
A growing area for community investment at Wates is support for social enterprises to access the company’s supply chain. Wates are taking a leadership position on this issue, trading £3.8 million with a network of 31 social enterprises nationally across 243 construction projects since 2010, and working with Social Enterprise UK to develop a national brokerage for enterprises looking to access the construction sector.