Being an industry leading business means more than creating a fantastic product and securing top deals. It requires being a company that employees can be proud to represent.
Over the past 12 months, we’ve made enormous strides as an employer. Firstly, we’ve been bringing in hundreds of new faces across the company, diversifying our workforce and hiring people from various backgrounds to create a fair and representative company.
We want to demonstrate that housebuilding can be a career choice for everyone. By next year, a third of our workforce will be women because we know that representation matters and we want to prove that housebuilding is not just a man’s world.
We have established partnerships with local schools and prisons, as well as attending recruitment fairs with school leaves and former military personnel, to offer training and employment opportunities to those who might not otherwise have them. This was crucial to us founding the ilke Academy, the UK’s first onsite MMC training and development facility. Since its launch in September this year, the ilke Academy has helped train hundreds of new recruits in the latest offsite techniques, including digital design, engineering, carpentry, manufacturing, plastering, brick rendering and construction.
The ilke Academy has been the face of our mission to become an industry leading employer. Behind the scenes, we’ve made enormous progress in getting to know our local community. In September we partnered with Rugby World Cup winner, Jason Robinson, to launch the ‘I Can Do Anything’ initiative. We set up the scheme to inspire the fantastic pupils of Queensway Primary School in Leeds to engage with science, technology, engineering and mathematics, while getting active through sports coaching led by Jason.
At this year’s Family Fun Day, we asked our team to donate gifts, packed into PPE shoeboxes, for local domestic abuse charity IDAC. We had so many donations that we had plenty of gifts left to give. So, we decided to take a trip to local Hookstone Chase Primary School, delivering the gifts to the pupils ahead of Christmas.
Many of the pupils of Hookstone Chase Primary School come from disadvantaged backgrounds, so we were delighted to be able to deliver clothes, toys, Disney blankets, electric toothbrushes, stationary and crafts to these fantastic children. We since returned to Hookstone Chase, bringing over 800 advent calendars with us, as well as help the school fund new sports equipment.
Corporate Social Responsibility is incredibly important to us as an employer, and we want to be able to do all that we can to support our local community. But we also make huge efforts to support charities across the country. This year, this has included everything from baking cakes for Macmillan’s The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning to Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children.
Being a great employer also requires being a responsible and caring company in the business we conduct. We’re proud to deliver high-quality, sustainable homes to the people that need and deserve them most. In the face of both a climate crisis and a housing crisis, creating zero-carbon and affordable homes is an enormous accomplishment, and one that the sector must take heed of and follow, if we are to successfully overcome both.
Our achievements this year, both as a business and an employer, fill us with immense pride, and they have been recognised by the York Press, as we won the 2019 New Business of the Year and finished a finalist for the 2019 Employer of the Year Award.
As the year closes, we can’t wait to see what is in stall for us in 2020.