The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon integrated labour team has won the Highways England ‘Improving employee engagement and behavioural change’ award.
The award submission entitled ‘The Integrated Labour Team (ILT) – a game-changing approach to meeting the needs of Highways England’s A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme’ described how four labour suppliers work together to meet the needs of the project.
The other two supply chain entries shortlisted in the customer category: ‘improving employee engagement and behavioural change’ were Amey and the A14 IDT – the A14 ILT’s ‘customer’. (The IDT is a collaboration between Costain, Skanska, Balfour Beatty and designers Atkins-Jacobs.) Ben Cross, formerly supply chain collaboration lead for the IDT, said: “So proud of you all. Your passion, energy and relentless drive for better things for the industry led you to this success. What a team – well done!”
Photograph above (L to R): Maurice O’Mahoney (Danny Sullivan Group), Chris Winfield (Hercules Site Services), James Burke (VGC Group), Chris Ryan (VGC Group), Brian Greene (Reliable Contractors)
About the integrated labour team
The ILT is made up of four companies: Reliable Contractors, Danny Sullivan Group, Hercules Site Services, and VGC Group. Together, they manage a diverse workforce of more than 300 people. Their labour desk deals with client orders, submits reports and liaises with works managers and general foremen on the four sections of the A14 project.
The four former competitors collaborate to meet the needs of the A14 Integrated Delivery Team (IDT) delivering the A14 upgrade on behalf of Highways England. The ILT’s key objectives:
- Get the best people for the project
- Harness innovation to deliver efficiencies and accountability
- Change people’s behaviours
- Share best practice
- Invest in skills and create a legacy for the future
- Support local communities, clients and stakeholders
“Setting up the ILT was a big achievement in terms of the model and way of working. We have learned a lot about ourselves as people and as teams.”
James Burke, labour lead for the ILT
The ILT outperforms industry averages with its recruitment of women, people of Black and Asian minority ethnic (BAME) origin, young people and over 55s. Each company in the ILT has a fairness, inclusion and respect ambassador, trained by the Supply Chain Sustainability School, dedicated to the project. Richard Wheeler, James Burke, Steve Jearum, Ciaran Alstone and Christopher O’Sullivan deliver FIR sessions to everyone on site: labour workforce plus members of the IDT.
All four ILT members have or aspire to the Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard to combat modern slavery.
Talks also cover mental health and fatigue management. The sessions are extremely well received and the ILT is confident that they have played a significant role in helping to change hearts and minds of everyone working on the A14.
21 apprentices on the A14 project are working towards NVQs levels 2, 3 and 4. They are supported to gain lifelong qualifications in general business administration, construction operations and highways maintenance.
The ILT is also supported by a behavioural safety programme with operatives selected to be site safety champions – key influencers. They are trained to manage unsafe behaviour before accidents happen, to keep everyone safe.
“The ILT is the best labour model I’ve used in my 20+ years in the industry”
A14 senior works manager
The Highways England awards ceremony took place in Birmingham on 28 March 2019. See the Highways England website for a list of the winners.