A long-standing innovator in the world of green business has unveiled a raft of initiatives aimed at plugging a skills gap and creating more sustainable employment opportunities.
NG Bailey, the UK’s leading independent provider of engineering, IT and facilities management services, is also urging other companies to join in to trigger greater excitement among young people for pursuing careers in these sectors.
The company revealed its blueprint as it published its latest annual sustainability report, which charts the progress it is making towards a series of targets designed to strengthen its position at the forefront of operating responsibly.
Its approach is spearheaded by the creation of a new schools programme to open pupils’ eyes to the range of careers across the construction industry; the launch of a “virtual university”; and a commitment that for every person it employs, it will have helped another two young people to be more successful in their future careers – thanks to a £3m annual training and development programme.
It has also pledged to expand and broaden its sector-leading apprenticeship programme – the springboard for over 5,500 careers since 1969 – and equip more young people with the skills to achieve even more advanced levels of qualification.
“Staff are our greatest asset – they hold the key to delivering our clients’ future success and their own sustainability goals,” said chief executive, David Hurcomb.
“Through the responsible and ethical ways we work, we are determined to draw upon best practice not only to safeguard the future of our planet, but also the future of our people – and this is reflected in what we have achieved this year.
“There are significant skills gaps to address if the UK is to deliver on its infrastructure investment commitments over the next 10 to 20 years.
“As well as up-skilling those who are already in our industry, we need to help young people get excited by science, technical or engineering careers. And this has to start in schools.”
The company has developed a new schools programme called Inspire.
Although in its infancy, it has already engaged with over 500 young people in Leeds and Manchester, helping them get involved in projects that bring to life the breadth of career options available in construction.
With plans to roll out the initiative to 12 schools nationwide within the next four years, NG Bailey hopes it will encourage participants to seek out construction options at college or university, or even apply for an apprenticeship.
This is the eighth annual sustainability report published by NG Bailey but the first which highlights the successes of its new strategy, ONE APPROACH, which was launched last year with the challenge of meeting 18 far-reaching commitments by 2018.
Over and above its focus on developing sustainable careers, ONE APPROACH in its inaugural year has helped NG Bailey:
- Achieve Investors in Diversity status four years ahead of target
- Drive down transport carbon dioxide emissions by 9 per cent
- Be rated 9th best UK employer for apprenticeships
- Reduce the number of reportable health and safety accidents by 27 per cent, including working 200,000 hours without one incident at the £600m project to transform Birmingham New Street Station
- Ensure 100 per cent of bids were compliant with its Ethical Working Policy
- Support staff and customers in raising more than £125,000 for charity and good causes.
Cal Bailey, the company’s sustainability director, added: “Our approach is geared towards providing sustainable futures both for our employees today and for those who will join us in years to come; and it’s about helping the communities in which we operate to create sustainable employment opportunities.
“I hope that NG Bailey can encourage others within our industry to get involved.”