Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd & University of Glasgow
WINNER – Social Value Award, GO Awards Scotland 2019/20
WINNER – GO Excellence Award, GO Awards Scotland 2019/20
A collaboration between Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd and the University of Glasgow, the Campus Development Project was awarded the Social Value Award at the GO Awards Scotland, as well as the GO Excellence Award, recognising the outstanding entry from among that year’s winners. Kieran Ronnie, Social Value and Community Manager at Multiplex, explains how social value was embedded throughout every aspect of the project.
Multiplex and the University of Glasgow are creating social value and a positive legacy through the Campus Development Project to create four new academic buildings. The project drives socio-economic growth through employment and skills opportunities, supporting local business, and inspiring a future generation into the workforce. Through our project-specific Social Value & Community Strategy, we create a robust structure and framework that enables the project to maximise its social capital and deliver life-changing outcomes for the people of Glasgow and beyond. Our approach to delivering Social Value is built on four main pillars: Investing in People; Supporting Business; Inspiring Community; and Respecting Our Neighbours.
Ensuring supply chain value
We work with our supply chain to deliver social value outcomes, creating links between subcontractors and the local community to deliver real partnerships.
Social value is embedded throughout the supply chain so that all subcontractors are aligned with our social value aspirations and objectives. We engage with potential supply chain organisations at the tender stage of each work package to ensure social value is a key element of project delivery. All tendering supply chain organisations complete and submit a social value document as part of the procurement process. Our project contains social value targets on new entrants, apprentices, graduates and training outcomes, along with engaging local SMEs, social enterprises and supported businesses, school and university students and local community groups, and this document details the supply chain’s commitment to delivering on these outcomes. This commitment is reviewed as part of the procurement process so that realistic but ambitious targets are set for each subcontractor to achieve as part of their contract.
Early engagement with the supply chain as part of the procurement process ensures that all parties are fully aligned ahead of the works commencing and there is a plan and framework in place to support the delivery of social value.
Social value must be approached in partnership with a range of stakeholders including employment and skills organisations, our supply chain, local community groups and charities. Developing our supply chain and SMEs local to the project is a key objective for the project. We have delivered 14 capacity-building workshops on Procurement, Quality, Sustainability, Modern Slavery and more, inviting supply chain and local SMEs.
Multiplex has also established a Community Partnership with local employment and skills groups, led by the Department for Work & Pensions and JobCentre Plus, to support our and our supply chain’s social value ambitions. It is important that all supply chain organisations are engaged with the Community Partnership at contract award, and this relationship is maintained through monthly meetings, employability events and the Partnership’s on-site presence. By establishing this structure and implementing continuous tracking and reporting of progress towards social value targets, we have far exceeded our expected social value outcomes to date.
An important but challenging component of our Social Value strategy is to engage, support and do business with social enterprises and supported businesses. By working together, our Procurement, Social Value & Community and Operations departments were able to identify contracts we could target for social enterprises, so they had the opportunity to tender and win work on the project. We promoted these opportunities through Meet the Buyer events, supply chain workshops and through social business networks to make contracts available to social enterprises. As a result, we currently have over £1.1m worth of contracts signed with social enterprises against a target of £561,000, with an actual spend to date of over £500,000.
Developing skills, sharing knowledge
By linking our subcontractor, CSM Facilities, with the Community Partnership and supporting unemployed candidates into work at the Campus Development, they now deliver all their Glasgow recruitment through the Community Partnership, delivering eight new entrants at the project and another eight across their business. Learning from this success, we now support our supply chain recruitment outside of the Campus Development project through the Partnership to widen the opportunities for unemployed people to access jobs and work placements.
Multiplex has provided caterer Street & Arrow, which hires people with convictions for twelve-month blocks, with free utilities and exclusive access to the workforce within the site compound. Those coming to the end of their time on the programme and ready to make the next step into full time employment are offered work placement and employment opportunities within the Campus Development project. The first candidate to complete the programme on site is now in full-time employment with another subcontractor, breaking the cycle of re-offending and providing sustainable employment.
Additionally, the Campus Development project has become a ‘living lab’ for university student and academic research projects, dissertations and PhDs. Projects include researching the impact of green hoarding on air and water quality, designing innovative smart campus solutions to use technology to enhance the student campus experience, and creating a construction mobile app for updating stakeholders on construction progress, traffic updates and road closures. The University’s College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences is currently researching the health (diet, exercise and mental wellbeing) of the workforce across the whole Campus Development. This data will be used to build an accurate picture of our construction workforce so that bespoke interventions can be designed to target non-communicable diseases.
Over 90 local pupils have participated to date in our secondary schools Independent Learning Programme, a 10-week initiative where pupils work in teams to create a fictional company and bid for the Campus Development project, developing research, teamwork and communication skills.
The GO Awards Experience
The GO Awards Scotland celebrate the best in public procurement and highlight the great work across the country. Multiplex and the University of Glasgow entered the GO Awards as we are striving to attain excellence in our procurement and our work with clients, supply chain and partner organisations. It is fantastic to be recognised by our industry peers and we would strongly encourage other organisations and projects to enter too.
By embedding social value and working with local SMEs and social enterprises within our projects, public procurement has the ability to deliver real social and economic benefits through employment and skills in the communities we live and work in, and it is fantastic to be recognised for our work in this field. We were delighted to win the Social Value Award and then to be recognised as the outstanding entry amongst a strong field of worthy winners. The GO Awards Scotland evening [on 29 October] demonstrated the breadth of talent in Scottish procurement, and to be recognised for our efforts to deliver social value through construction is a phenomenal achievement for the Campus Development Project.