The context for public sector construction programmes at a time of austerity has made excellent delivery exceedingly difficult. When the public-sector client and delivery partner are faced with funding cuts but want to do more than ever before to help people in need – the circumstances become even more problematical. This is the extremely challenging context faced by Stockport Homes and B4Box, which dictated that business as usual was not an option. The partnership faced a choice between a race to the bottom through cuts to prices and quality or forming a ground-breaking new style of collaboration that maximises value for the client, residents and society. The value option, aligned to Constructing Excellence principles, was chosen and a truly pioneering collaborative partnership has been developed.
Major challenges tackled by our collaboration included:
- Funding cuts: To construction budgets and other public services, including employability and skills departments, requiring construction expenditure to deliver more than ever before.
- Continuous improvement of delivery standards: Quicker delivery times to maximise client income and improved build quality to ensure end-user satisfaction and sustainable tenancies.
- Worklessness: Providing all unemployed residents with the offer of a life transforming pathway into training or employment in construction.
- Inequality: Tackling social and economic exclusion by targeting opportunities at disadvantaged residents far removed from the labour market.
Industry skills shortage and training crisis: Developing a sustainable pathway for new talent to embark on construction careers, learn new skills and gain industry-accredited qualifications in our innovative Training Centre, thus reducing skill shortages and labour inflation.