Creating Employment & Training Opportunities
Our Approach to Building Communities
By placing people, environment and communities at the heart of our decision-making process, we build sustainable communities that last and flourish. To ensure that everyone's needs remain central, we follow the Countryside Building Communities approach on every project, from master-planning and design, through to building and aftercare, working closely with communities and stakeholders throughout the development journey.
Building Communities sets out our four key principles of Empowerment, Engagement, Partnership and Stewardship. By consistently embedding this approach across all our developments, we stay true to our values and maximize socio-economic value for the communities we’re here to support.
Countryside’s purpose is to create places where people love to live, with sustainable communities built to last. We are committed to creating employment and training opportunities in the communities in which we operate and do this in a number of ways.
We have invested in the Governments Kickstart scheme, creating inclusive opportunities for the communities in which we are working. The scheme creates job opportunities for 16–24-year-olds who are in receipt of Universal Credit. The work placement scheme provides a 6-month paid employment opportunity to participants, providing them with invaluable work experience.
We have worked in partnership with the Work Coaches to ensure that the participants are supported through their 6-month placement. Three new operative roles have been created at our timber frame factories in Warrington and Narborough, and we have worked with the Work Coaches to ensure adjustments have been made to support the participants through the placement, such as the provision of transport and flexible working hours.
We are also committed to supporting economic recovery from Covid-19 and addressing skills shortages and supporting our communities by enabling and creating employment opportunities and supporting business who have been adversely affected by the pandemic. We have partnered with the London Progression Collaboration (LPC) on their “Reskilling the Recovery” programme, which supports businesses to create new apprenticeship opportunities for those on low incomes living in London. The LPC exist to tackle the challenges and barriers experienced by low paid workers and the skills shortages faced in key sectors.
Through the partnership we have pledged to share £70,000 of our apprenticeship levy to support the creation of apprenticeships in our London based supply chain. The funding has supported the creation of 6 apprenticeships across a range of trades. Based on the success of the initiative, Countryside have committed to sharing an additional £70,000 of its levy to support the creation of apprenticeships in other areas of the business.
Aligning our approach to Building Communities
Both our approaches to sustainability and Building Communities are guided by our values and purpose of creating place people love to live, with sustainable communities built to last.
Building Communities speaks to the principles we believe are critical to supporting strong and resilient communities. These principles of Engagement, Empowerment, Partnership and Stewardship are embedded in everything we do.
Throughout our approach to creating employment and training opportunities, we are committed to incorporating the principles into our approach by:
Engagement – with the communities and community partners in which we work to provide employment and training opportunities.
Partnerships – we partner with a range of organisations who can support us in facilitating and providing training and employment opportunities to our community members.
Stewardship – we work with all our trainees and training providers to ensure we maximise the positive outcomes for participants across all of our programmes whether that be securing full time employment or moving on to further education and training.
“I really enjoyed my placement; everyone has been so friendly and welcoming since I started. The fact that my supervisor and manager are invested in my progress is a great motivation. I hope I can continue to make a great impression and strive to keep up the good work. I’d like to thank everyone at Countryside for the opportunity and for taking me under their wing and making my time here educational and enjoyable.”
Gareth Lee, Factory Operative, Kickstart Scheme
“Whilst gaining valuable on the job experience, I also achieved a L2 Estate Agent Apprenticeship, completing with a Distinction. Through Countryside offering career progression and internal opportunities; I have been able to experience different roles within my department enabling me to determine the area which I felt most suited my ambitions. I have been supported by my department to understand many different aspects of the job. I have benefitted from mentoring and have been able to learn through colleagues who have gone through similar processes and experiences.”
Mia Taylor, Sales and Marketing trainee, Apprenticeship Scheme
Mustafa had been working as a delivery driver, before starting his apprenticeship with Joe Brennan Training and was delighted to be given the opportunity of working on Countryside’s, Peel Precinct project in Brent. This was made possible by Countryside sharing its Apprenticeship Levy, to create local apprenticeship opportunities with our supply chain; particularly where there are skills shortages.
Countryside partnered with the London Progression Collaboration Reskill the Recovery Programme a project supporting businesses to offer more apprenticeships to low-paid Londoners.
Mustafa Salihu, Plumbing and Heating Apprentice/Levy Share Scheme