CECA Midlands Launch their new Social Value Toolkit for members

Sairah Hussain, Customer, Business Development & Corporate Social Responsibility Highways Business Lead at Galliford Try, and head of CECA Midlands’ Foundations Group

I am really pleased to have played a part in the launch of the new Social Value Toolkit by CECA Midlands because, in my view, this is a really progressive step for the industry.

When we came together as a Foundations Group, we recognised this as being a massive challenge for the sector and one that we wanted to try to meet head on.

Our aim was to level the playing field when it comes to social value and make sure that SMEs had the same opportunities to forecast, deliver and measure the value they bring to a project.

The benefits are two-fold. It does genuine good for the communities across the Midlands where civil engineering contractors are carrying out work – adding value to those places beyond the contract that is being delivered.

On top of that, the toolkit means smaller companies can measure that social value which will help when they are tendering for the contract, and for future work.

So much emphasis is based on the social value of projects when it comes to procurement, so it is vital that businesses are able to measure this in the right way and, also, know what they are measuring and why.

Bigger contractors will have the mechanisms in place to be able to do this already so by offering this toolkit and then training for small and medium-sized businesses we are removing a barrier to growth for them.

One could ask, what’s in it for us as one of those bigger contractors?

The whole reason I got involved with CECA Midlands was to do genuine good for the industry and bring about changes that would improve the way we all operate.

When we talked about social value, it would have been easy to do a tick-box exercise and say we would do more work with schools or something similar, but that would have no real tangible benefits.

Educating the next generation of civil engineers is something that’s vitally important as we look to attract new recruits into the sector but we felt we wanted to go much further on behalf of the members.

Social value and the way it’s measured was something that was coming up time and time again and it has been a real headache for many businesses because of the sheer number of metrics involved.

The toolkit – and the training to use it – will go a long way to helping us address that and I am delighted that this region is leading the way.

CECA members can access the toolkit free of charge at CECA Midlands Social Value Framework Guide – CECA