News - 07 September 2023

D2N2 Cornerstone Employers discuss the Social Value Act and the importance of supporting local schools in new film

Photo: Kevin Dodds, Construction Director, G F Tomlinson, delivering a construction careers talk

A new D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership film has been created in collaboration with GF Tomlinson, Faithful + Gould, SCAPE and West Park School, and published on our YouTube channel. The purpose of the film is to help inform small and medium sized companies on the importance of the Social Value Act and to share best practice in engaging with schools and young people.

The Social Value Act came into force on 31 January 2013. It requires people who commission public services to think about how they can also secure wider social, economic and environmental benefits.

Fiona Baker, Head of People & Skills, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership said:

The Social Value Act is really about the government getting the best and the widest possible value for public money. So that could be in terms of social benefits, economic benefits or environmental benefits. In terms of social benefits, for me that’s about having the most diverse workforce that we could possibly have.

We know that all sorts of sectors are changing in terms of their technological needs, that employers more than ever need to develop talent pipelines with the right skills for the future.  Exposure to the workplace is really important for young people, so that they can see with their own eyes what a career might look like.  And also see the range of careers that might be available. For employers, building relationships with schools is one way to develop that talent pipeline.”

Kevin Dodds, Construction Director, GF Tomlinson said:

“I’m privileged to be the Chair of the South Derbyshire Group of Cornerstone Employers.  In our industry, to engage with local schools and colleges to provide work experience placements, is really important because there is a certain skill shortage across construction.  We hope that our supply chain can assist with that and provide work experience placements, for all kinds of trades.  It’s a great opportunity, both for the young people themselves to get engaged with the industry, and certainly also for the supply chain companies.”

Matt Bust, Performance & Sustainability Co-ordinator, SCAPE said:

“Social value is essential to the delivery of SCAPE’s frameworks.  It’s also important to our clients, it’s something they want to see across all their projects.

We want to ensure that all our partners have got social values embedded into their business and that it’s part of their culture.”

Dan Heffernan, Strategic Social Value Lead, Faithful + Gould said:

“It makes complete sense for us to engage with the world of education because we need to ensure we’ve got a sufficient talent pipeline coming through that will enable us to deliver our contracts for our clients.  Young people bring so much to our organisation, both innovative thinking and creativity, and that passion and energy that’s needed to deliver our projects.

Engaging with schools doesn’t have to be overly complicated. It can just be attending a school session, talking about your career journey, or inviting groups of students to your business to explain what you do day to day.  For us it makes complete sense as a forward thinking, ethical business that we continue to engage with the education community.”

Daniel Pikett, Careers Lead, West Park School said:

“It’s important businesses come into schools to learn from young people. Social value goes beyond economic value. By coming to schools, it shows us what employers want and how children and young people can get involved.”

Simran Barard, Assistant Project Manager, Faithful + Gould said:

“For me to know that my company is going into the schools in the communities I grew up in and inspiring young minds, it makes such a huge difference. It makes a difference to how we approach things and what we value, making a difference not only for the community, not only for the industry, but for everyone.

Social value is not a tick box exercise. We can only make the difference that’s needed if we all contribute together.”

Watch the video on our YouTube channel

Find out more about our Careers Hub and our work with Cornerstone Employers and schools

For media enquiries, contact:

Nicola Swaney

Head of External Affairs, D2N2 LEP

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