VGC has been shortlisted for the IRP award for Corporate and Social Responsibility Practitioner of the Year.
The awards are a celebration of the recruitment industry by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and Institute of Recruitment Professionals. They have been running for ten years and reward best practice and professional recruitment excellence.
VGC’s submission focused on our work on apprenticeships. As members of The 5% Club, we have committed to having at least five per cent of our workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions within five years. We have far exceeded this goal, with well over 6% of our workforce on apprenticeships in September 2018.
Our apprentices are supported by our learning and development manager, Simon Clamp, who has himself worked his way up through the industry. We work with partners Arc Academy and Geason Training on NVQ level 2, 3 and 4 placements in various industry-related activities. These include general business administration, construction operations, and track maintenance and engineering.
By offering work experience, apprenticeship and recruitment programmes, we support wider society as well as our work community, and allow us to recruit the best people for the job.
Our apprenticeship programme is part of our work on:
- community engagement, including our work to encourage discussion around LGBT+, mental health, modern slavery and occupational health issues
- supporting people into careers in construction, with other programmes including our partnership with BuildForce and our work in schools
- improving safety wherever we can, as shown by our Be Safe by Choice safety programme.
Helping wider society
Apprenticeships obviously support the apprentices themselves, by giving a lifelong qualification and helping them into well-paid secure work. They also help the local community because people spend their incomes locally, so money goes into the community. By recruiting people who live near to infrastructure projects, we help to reduce carbon emissions from commuting.
Also, apprentices who were previously on benefits now support themselves and their families.
According to the National Apprenticeship Service, apprenticeships boost productivity to businesses by on average £214 per week.
“Apprenticeships are a great way for people to start and develop their careers,” says Ciara Pryce, group services director. “Our apprenticeship programme is an important part of our staff development strategy, supporting VGC’s long-term growth and our social responsibility goals.”
The IRP award winners will be announced at a ceremony on 29 November 2018.