Addressing inequality and the industry skills gap through education and employment.
Supporting education and employment to address inequality makes business sense: the skills gap in our industry continues to grow and could become a major challenge in the future.
Recognising the challenge
The world’s richest one percent have more than twice as much wealth as 6.9bn people. In the construction industry, one fifth of all vacancies cannot be adequately or permanently filled because employers are unable to recruit talent with the right skills, qualifications or experience.
To address both these issues, we have worked in partnership with our communities to support vulnerable children and young people to reach their potential and inspire them to join our industry.
A local approach
In June 2018, our #TT5000futures campaign was launched to reach over 5,000 children and young people around the world annually through our education and employment initiatives.
Megan Treharne, UK CR Manager is leading the initiative in the region and has seen our impact grow worldwide, she says:
Globally, our schools programme supports children as young as three, up to those of graduate and apprenticeship age. Where we can, we tailor each interaction to our industry, allowing our colleagues to utilise their skills and deliver lasting impact.
We run sessions on our industry, sustainable building and project management with partners like JINC in the Netherlands and Woodridge High in Australia. These programmes are designed to broaden young people’s understanding of our industry, to raise their career aspirations and to encourage them to pursue fulfilling careers within our industry.
We place great emphasis on mentoring – we recently launched a mentoring programme with ACE in the USA, our work with Career Ready in the UK continues to grow and we have been mentoring young people living near our offices in Nairobi, Kenya for several years.
A brighter future
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked with our charity partners to continue to provide our mentoring programmes and offer education support to families who began homeschooling during lockdowns.
In the UK, by reallocating our Action for Children Education Fund we were able to reach young people at home with supplies such as craft kits, stationery, desks and tablets, to ensure they were able to continue home learning.
When schools closed, we worked with the National Literacy Trust to distribute books to all programme participants so that these children had a book of their own.
As a result of our strong partnerships and programmes across the globe, the #TT5000futures project has reached more than 15,000 lives since 2018. Our volunteering participation rate has grown to 37 percent across the business and continues to exceed expectations.
We delivered over 19,000 employee volunteering hours with over 150 schools, organisations and charities through #TT5000futures, and donated more than £1.1m to charitable organisiations across the globe.
Watch the video to find out more.
In the years to come, we will continue to build on this commitment, helping even more lives to overcome barriers to opportunity and inspire the next generation to join our industry.
This case study is part of our annual review 2019-2020.