In 2013 Wigan and Leigh Homes started planning a four-year bathroom replacement scheme across its stock. Working with Reallies partner Procure Plus, social value requirements were developed and included at all stages of the procurement exercise, resulting in a requirement for three full-time employment-with training opportunities to be provided by contractors for every £1 million of labour contract value. In addition, manufacturers and suppliers were also required to provide one full-time employment-with-training opportunity for every £1 million of contract value.
Social value teams worked with the client team to identify communities it would like to see benefit from these opportunities. Wigan and Leigh had previously worked with a local employment group (LEG) namely Wigan Youth and asked PP to partner with them to identify individuals to benefit from the opportunities created. Over four years, 29 people with various barriers to employment (long term unemployed, ex-offenders, NEET young people) have been supported into work and accredited training programmes.
Trevor Smith, Group Manager Planned Works at Wigan Council, said: “Working with Procure Plus has resulted in Wigan Council being able to provide real, sustainable, good quality opportunities to our residents. Wigan Council is pleased that its investment in the community not only resulted in physical improvements to properties, but has made a tangible difference to the lives of many households within the area. The provision of good quality apprenticeships to those who would traditionally struggle to engage with these opportunities will leave a valuable legacy in our communities long after the physical works have been completed. Working with PP has supported and complimented our existing relationships with local employment groups like Wigan Youth Zone, without requiring our teams to take on additional work”.
Reallies Partner Procure Plus measures its success and value for money through annual social audits. The full social audit is available on Procure Plus’ website. Comprehensive figures on social value activity are provided to each client on a quarterly basis. Clients are then able to use these to calculate their own social return values.
No of people supported into work: 420
Priority group candidates 93%
Retention of candidates 86%