New Ambassador for FIR helps Lead the Agenda on the ground!

New FIR Ambassador, Hannah Bailey, talks about her involvement and the work which has been carried out so far.
“Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) is all about ensuring we are creating a happy, positive and safe environment for anybody to work and succeed. With the worrying skills shortage that our Industry is facing, we have a lot of work to do to attract and retain new talent.  By working with the Sustainability School we are helping to lead the way with the FIR Agenda.

It’s all about the work experience
Valuable work experience placements and employability sessions help us to encourage people to consider a career in the Industry, or give those who have been studying the hands-on experience they need to get their foot on the construction ladder. Of course, when we plan these types of initiatives local colleges and schools are a central place to start. At each contract we build a relationship with these establishments and create bespoke opportunities for their students. Isla and Owen from West Herts College are currently on a placement at our Dacorum contract and went through a process of applying for the job, gaining CV feedback and being interviewed. They are now with us every Tuesday and will be working with our Operatives, Supervisors and Site Managers to gain insight into what their careers might look like after college.

All in the learning
We also have a programme in place for adults and young people with learning disabilities by working in partnership with local charities and services. Through community initiatives we build trust with the service users and identify those who may benefit from Work Experience with us. We met Will McInally during our work with Learning Disability Experience (LDX) in Waltham Forest and shortly after he joined us for a Site Maintenance Work Experience Placement. Will secured a full time role with Osborne and is currently completing a 2 year Maintenance Operations Apprenticeship at Waltham Forest College.

On our Winchester contract, Rhys will be joining our repairs and maintenance Operatives in March for a work experience placement. We first met Rhys, when, with other pupils and students of Osborne Special Needs School we built a greenhouse from 1500 plastic bottles! At Dacorum, Taz and Emma who we met at a Mencap Social evening will be joining the team as Office Assistants for their placement.

Being at the heart of the Community
We have also engaged with local homeless shelters to offer employability support through mock interviews to service users.  This has helped build confidence and has given opportunity for people to recognise that even when you have been long term unemployed, people still have valuable experience and skills which they can add to their CVs and talk about in interviews. Volunteering in our community investment projects is a powerful way to give local people who have been unemployed for a length of time a work experience opportunity, without the pressure of entering an office or site environment straight away. We have worked with one police-run project for ex-offenders to refurbish a local sports changing room. This gave them valuable experience working alongside established tradesmen whilst also improving their own skills. The group then went on to make bespoke benches for us to utilise the carpentry skills they had developed through the programme.

Liz Holford of the Supply Chain Sustainability School FIR Programme, said “ Osborne’s leaders, managers and workers show real commitment to making workplaces even more welcoming to everyone – and offering work placements to people from traditionally ‘hard to reach’ communities is evidence of this. It’s a smart move – our industry faces acute skills shortages and needs to attract new recruits from a wider pool of talent than we have historically targeted. Providing work placements is a great way for a progressive company such as Osborne to make itself an ’employer of choice” and attract new talent.”