What does Corporate Social Responsibility mean to you as a specialist in this area at Kier, and why is it so important in the construction industry?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a very broad term that encompasses a range of diverse areas. But for me, the essence of it comes down to the need to leave a community better off than when we as construction workers entered it. This is particularly important when it comes to the construction industry because our projects are heavily integrated into the community within which they reside in, and often revolve around community spaces. The goal is therefore ultimately to maintain sustainability overall, be it in terms of workforce, education, community, or the environment, to guarantee that high standards are met throughout the construction process
Some examples of Corporate Social Responsibility can include hiring local labour forces, increasing the accessibility of routes into the industry, supporting education and employability initiatives, and local community projects.
In a few words, describe a typical day as a Corporate Social Responsibility Graduate at Kier and why your work is so valuable to local communities at construction sites.
Since Corporate Social Responsibility is so broad, my day-to-day job is really varied! A lot of my work includes emails, meetings, and research. However, I am lucky to also be able to get out of the office on a regular basis. For example, one day, I might be attending a talk about construction in a school, the next, hosting a work experience student on one of our construction sites.
I think our work is so valuable because it really requires us to engage with the local community, assess and listen to their needs, and react adaptively to these. It’s also valuable to the communities we work in by highlighting ourselves as a major local employer that offers several opportunities, including supporting education initiatives. The actual projects we undertake are also in themselves so valuable. We often build critical infrastructure buildings such as schools and hospitals that directly serve the community by their very nature.