CECA was delighted to present the third annual Inspiring Change Awards, this year presented at our inaugural Inspiring Change Conference by keynote speaker the Lord Blunkett
Inspiring Change in the Community Award
Mears Group‘s ‘Tradeswomen into Maintenance Project is a CITB-sponsored project which aims to increase the number of female trade operatives and apprenticeships throughout the Social Housing Building & Maintenance Sector.
The project is directed by a steering group from the sector who are committed to ensuring that the future sees an increasingly diverse operative workforce. The projects is aimed at providing easy access to some practical tools to help recruit more women into the industry.
“Original, a great initiative – a very transferrable bottom up approach with good evidence of engagement with the end user”
Inspiring Change in Education Award
The Ferrovial Agroman Laing O’Rourke JV (FLO) designed a Strategic Labour Needs and Training (SLNT) Plan for the Northern Line Extension Project, comprising a comprehensive skills and education programme that consists of various events and engagements with young people at all stages of their education and of all abilities.
This programme includes continued engagement with local schools to deliver workshops around employment skills, careers in the industry, and routes into employment, offering work experience and participation in support of a pre-apprenticeship pilot programme.
The judges felt that the initiative could be replicated in other businesses. It offered a menu of opportunities with a pathway of engagement for all ages and backgrounds and often tied in to other initiatives such as International Women’s Day
Inspiring Change in the Workplace Award
Construction is traditionally, and remains, a male dominated industry, generalised as having long hours and difficult site conditions – a culture which has not always been appealing to those who want to balance family life with a career. Morgan Sindall, under the leadership of HR Director, Dawn Moore, has sought to implement positive cultural change, behaviours, and ways of working, to change perceptions and create an organisation which values work/life balance and will encourage people to either stay within, or consider starting, a career in the industry.
The entry backed up their submission with some impressive statistics and demonstrated that changes were being embedded. A very good returnship programme had been introduced.
Inspiring Change 2018 Award
DXI Regeneration invited Southport Brownies to visit a live construction site in February 2018, as part of their CECA North West-sponsored Civil Engineering Challenge, a programme designed by civil engineer and Guider Pippa Higgins. Despite the cold weather, the Brownies were very enthusiastic and have successfully completed the challenge. DXI is committed to encouraging the next generation of civil engineers, and increasing the diversity of the industry.
The judges felt that the winning entry targeted young people in the community and could be replicated by other businesses and with other uniformed groups.
Inspiring Change Project Award
The GRAHAM OD East FIR Champion team held an accredited ‘Introduction to FIR’ workshop (partnering with Action Sustainability and CITB) aimed at providing advice to and sharing best practice with the Client, extended Supply Chain and peers. Attendees learnt about leading edge FIR policies/processes and tips on how to implement them to increase employee engagement. GRAHAM believe that this programme has the potential to be an exemplar model for the industry embedding best practice FIR.
The Judges were looking for evidence that good practice was being transferred across to other projects within the business while recognising the hard work undertaken by individuals. The winning submission is an exemplar for replication across the business and delivered clear business benefits.
Inspiring Change FIR Inspiration Award
2018: Ricky Prett, Costain Group
Ricky leads an industry first – to pilot, and roll out, flexible working hours in a site team. Foremen are traditionally expected to work 60+ hours per week – first to arrive, last to leave. Ricky has challenged this assumption and proven it doesn’t have to be this way. Facing several “it will never work” hurdles thrown, his team of 4 show how team work, collaboration and clever thinking restores work/life balance.
Ricky has challenged industry norms by supporting his team of working fathers to leave work early, and be proud about it! This is achieved through ‘partnering’ the team to cover each other’s responsibilities, and take it in turns to work from home once every 2 weeks. His team have set a precedent for the rest of the department; the pilot of 4 has been extended to 20, all able to pursue more work life balance.
Research shows flexible working is the number one reason a candidate joins a new employer; but in construction, working hours are the second most-cited reason people leave. For the industry to diversify and attract more talent, something has to change. Ricky leads flexible working, not taking ‘no’ for an answer from senior leaders; he’s created a timesheets to prove output & productivity has remained the same, and captured the increased wellbeing of his staff.
Seeing the positive changes within his team – increased sleep, higher uptake of training, more family time are most common– Ricky is positioning his entire team as a role model for the rest of the project. He shows others how flexible working has been achieved, and challenges supply chain to adopt similar thinking. He’s vocal to senior leadership about how they can lead change. His visibility has smashed the taboo of flexible working across the project.
Ricky was nominated by a colleague for challenging industry norms. The judges felt that he was championing change and demonstrated that one person could make a difference to working practices.