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Embedding Social Value in Regeneration

Learning and development opportunities

Beyond Housing has a proven track record of delivering social value and ensuring social value is embedded within development and regeneration projects. Employment and skills targets are set for the duration of each development, focusing on recruiting local people, creating work experience opportunities for those of school age and over 16, creating apprenticeship opportunities, construction site visits and other added value to raise the profile careers in construction. An employment and skills project group oversees progress and addresses challenges to ensure that these targets are met or exceeded.

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Our Employability team worked closely with Equans on the Church Lane North scheme to engage with the local community, help raise aspirations and provide skills development opportunities whilst raising the profile of the construction industry. This has included:

  • Delivering health and safety talks to local school children and offering site visits
  • Providing work experience and T level placements to local people and students
  • Creating apprenticeship opportunities
  • Supporting local community events
  • Delivering Into Work training programmes.

To ensure our customers and communities had access to these opportunities, one of Beyond Housing’s employability caseworkers was assigned to the project and worked closely alongside key contacts on the project and within the community. The caseworker provided wraparound support and quality information, one-to-one advice and guidance to customers who needed support to address barriers and raise aspirations to access education, training, and employment options. This offer was available to our customers and to residents from the estate and surrounding areas, to make a difference to whole communities.

Challenges – lack of engagement from residents and local community despite using a variety of customer engagement methods including Facebook, door knocking, leaflet drop, emails, linking in with local community events and schools.

Lessons learnt – ensure you have customer data up to date in terms of economic status at the start of delivery, so you have some baseline information to measure against and know if there is a need/demand for employability support. Involve employability at the earliest point of the contract tendering process so that ambitious targets are agreed with the developer prior to the contract commencing so it is not a tick boxing exercise.