Osborne partnership working pays off

The Build Surrey steering group and Surrey County Council worked in partnership to identify forthcoming employment opportunities on Surrey County Council construction contracts.

As a result, each construction site managed by Osborne aimed to provide social employment and training opportunities through various initiatives. The south-west Employment Development Officer (EDO) assessed sites that may be suitable to offer work experience or paid work opportunities, and then discussed appropriate timings with site management.

Osborne communicated entry level roles in Surrey five months before starting recruitment, on a new school build in Deepcut. A gate person was required to manage the deliveries and traffic on-site, to book in visitors and communicate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements. Applicants had to have a Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) card and be able to get to Deepcut for 7.30am, plus work for at least eight hours per day.

A number of young people supported by the Youth Support Service were interested in applying for the role, however transport and CSCS challenges meant no suitable applicants were available at the time of recruitment.

The EDO partners with a wide range of not-for-profit organisations, charities and local government organisations and distributed the role to local service providers. Ethos, a Guildford based employment and housing charity, was working with a 23 year old man who met the requirements. Stefan had been unemployed for nine months and had a young daughter and partner to care for, and another baby on the way. The EDO met the young man and introduced him to the site manager at Osborne for an interview. Stefan discussed his previous experience, how he would travel to work and even offered suggestions on improving security at the main gate.

Osborne was impressed, offering Stefan a 12 month contract which is likely to be extended to 18 months. In addition to full time paid work Stefan was provided with ‘vehicle banksman’ training that qualifies him to direct site vehicles safely. Stefan started work at the beginning of April 2014.

Hudson Holt, Site Manager for Osborne:

“It has been great to see Stefan take ownership of his responsibilities. He is always punctual and hasn’t been phased by the rain, despite the five miles of cycling to and from work. Having someone so reliable has made the management of the site much easier for us.

“Stefan is forthcoming and has communicated new ideas for site entrance security and controls, becoming an invaluable member of the team. Stefan communicates well and is good at exerting authority over drivers with regards to ensuring site security procedures are followed and delivers the site induction in a practical and professional manner, making sure drivers and visitors do what we need them to do. “We now plan to provide Stefan with first aid and fire marshal training, in addition to the vehicle banksman training he has received.”

Jessica Brush, Employment Development Officer (south-west): “This is a great example of how working in partnership can support businesses, charities and the local community on so many levels. Surrey is lucky to be able to work with organisations such as Osborne who deliver on their offers and genuinely incorporate social employment into their contracts.”