Housing Development Giving Back Through Social Value

The work by construction company Willmott Dixon to create much-needed housing options for local people in the South Bucks district, is already paying dividends for the community.

Willmott Dixon is currently building 34 new one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments for South Bucks District Council in Tatling End, with 14 available on an affordable rented basis for local people, with the remainder available for private rent.

As part of this project, Willmott Dixon is working closely with local schools and colleges such as Chalfont Community College, Chiltern Hills Academy, Dr Challoner's Grammar School, Dr Challoner's High, Maltman Green School, and the Bucks College Group to name but a few, in providing a series of workshops, career days and site tours to highlight the different careers opportunities there are in the construction industry.

The company is also working with The Prince's Trust to deliver a 'Get into Construction' programme over a two-week period for 10 students, with a Willmott Dixon project team spending time as mentors in giving career pathway talks and skills workshops including CV writing and interview preparation. So far, eight students have also undertaken work experience placements on the site.

Steve Kitchen, director at Willmott Dixon said: "Making a difference to the lives of people local to our projects is incredibly important to us at Willmott Dixon, and we are delighted to have been able to get involved with so many local schools and colleges while working at Tatling End. We look forward to continuing this for the remainder of the project."

South Bucks District Councillor Patrick Hogan, Portfolio Holder for Healthy Communities said: "We are really pleased that Willmott Dixon is not only helping us to deliver high quality new homes, 40% of which is affordable housing, but they're also working with local schools to further maximise the benefits of the Tatling End Housing Project.

"Providing students with work experience opportunities, delivering workshops in schools and helping with mock interviews will go a long way in terms of building these students' employability with knowledge and skills to improve their access to job opportunities."

South Bucks District Councillor Barbara Gibbs, Portfolio Holder for Resources, says: "I am absolutely delighted with how much work Willmott Dixon has done to ensure a high level of social value for this project is achieved. The work they have done with the local schools really is fantastic. It's so important to talk to young people about the different career choices that engineering has to offer. Having a food bank on-site at Christmas time was also a really nice touch."

Willmott Dixon is passionate about attracting more people into the construction industry and was recently named 5th in the Sunday Times '100 Best Companies to Work For' list.