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When the site hoardings come down, there’s a lot more than a building left behind.

Contractors should be shouting louder enough about all the additional benefits

they bring to communities, says Kristina Smith.

INDUSTRY EYE

48

June 2015

Issue 37

Why the good guys should get

the jobs

I was recently inspired by the story

of a man who, having been out

of work for years after battling an

addiction, had become a motivated

and dedicated apprentice. It wasn’t

his attitude that moved me, it

was the way he spoke about his

colleagues: the senior managers

who had given him a chance and

encouraged him to believe in

himself, the workmates who had

made him welcome and generously

shared their knowledge and skills.

The construction industry is full of

uplifting stories like this one. This

particular example brought home

to me just how much the culture

of a company or a project impacts

on the lives of individuals, their

families and communities. A decent

firm that employs decent people

goes about things in a different way

to one that is driven purely by the

bottom line.

This is a theme explored in a report

published last month by Willmott

Dixon,

Social Value – taking full account of a company’s true impact .

It says that social value isn’t just

about community projects, or

employing social enterprises, it’s

about how a firm goes about its

daily business.

The general public tend to

see all the negative impacts a

construction site brings: noise,

lorries, dust and disruption. They

don’t always see the positive

impacts such as boosting the local

economy, providing training and

work experience, motivating kids to

study, working with local charities

or upgrading community facilities.

Local authorities are allowed to

take these things into consideration