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Wates targets wider support for social enterprises

9 August 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

Wates Group is targeting wider support of social enterprises after helping set up an enhanced online procurement platform that includes them for the first time.

Wates, which is recognised as a proponent of social enterprises (SEs) in the construction industry and is a founder member of networking organisation Social Enterprise UK's Buy Social corporate challenge, has teamed up with Constructionline to help shape its online procurement platform.

The enhanced platform encourages 4,700 buyers from across the construction industry to include social enterprises in their project's supply chains.

The changes come following an announcement by the government in June that major state projects will have to consider "social value" where appropriate, as part of a commitment to improve trust in the delivery of public services post Carillion.

Su Pickerill, group community investment manager at Wates Group said: "Wates is committed to supporting the social enterprise sector and to maximising the social value both we and the industry can generate from our work.

"Social enterprises have the potential to address some major issues within construction, such as the skills shortage. Not only by helping to secure work for those furthest from the labour market, such as ex-offenders, or the long-term unemployed, but also supporting people to re-engage with training and employment." 

"We’re pleased to be working with Constructionline to highlight to our colleagues in the built environment the added value that social enterprises offer. By trading, we can support these organisations to scale and achieve greater impact."

Constructionline chief executive John Edmunds said: "The financial and social benefits that social enterprises deliver for society are being increasingly recognised and rewarded. We are therefore delighted to partner with Wates and introduce a new question set, which will quickly identify those suppliers involved in social enterprise initiatives."

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