To meet the need and demand for new homes, the construction industry must work with Government to address the skills shortage.
DEVELOPING HOMEBUILDERS OF THE FUTURE
Here at Redrow we are proud of our record of training and developing our colleagues. We have been listed as a Top 100 Apprentice Employer in the National Apprenticeship Service awards for the fourth consecutive year. In addition to our Trade apprenticeship, Trainee Site Assistant and our Commercial apprenticeship training programmes, this year we have introduced a fast track management programme for graduates with a construction related degree.
We created 228 directly employed new jobs in the year, increasing our employee numbers to a record c2,200. We have continued to invest in our people to ensure we have the skilled and qualified workforce we need for the future. We again maintained our proportion of trainees at 15% of the increased workforce.
We also continue to develop our team at all levels to support the growth of our business, underpin our structured approach to succession planning and encourage all our colleagues to reach their potential. This year we completed c6,800 training days, an increase of over 40% on the prior year (2016: c4,800). Much of our training is carried out in-house by our Learning and Development Team and delivered at either our Tamworth training centre, Head Office or our newly-opened training facilities at Colindale and Daresbury.
We work with recognised training providers and experts in their field to design our training courses: for example, this year we became the first company in the homebuilding industry to work with the NHBC to design a bespoke course. Our ‘Effective Snagging and NHBC Warranty’ course can now be rolled-out across the business under licence from the NHBC.
In order to ensure that we are supporting all our employees to fulfil their potential, we regularly evaluate employee engagement and use the results to improve working practices, training and development.
We conducted a major survey in 2017, having conducted a mini survey in 2016. This was undertaken by Employee Feedback Ltd on our behalf. We had an 88% response rate and achieved a 95% employee satisfaction rating – 96% of our employees said they were proud to work for Redrow.
Build output increased by c15% in the year as the Group continues to position itself to meet its growth targets. We also continue to manage pressures in both labour and material supply chains.
Colindale Gardens is the largest development in the Group and continues to make excellent progress. There are currently c600 homes under construction there and the daily workforce often exceeds 600 people. It was pleasing to see the first apartment block ‘unwrapped’ in June 2017 and we are on-track to deliver our first legal completions from this important strategic site at the end of this calendar year.
DRIVING DOWN WASTE
The percentage of homes and apartments that have been connected to on-site renewables or low carbon community energy has substantially increased this year from 13% (2016) to 36%. This is largely due to the increasing use of community energy infrastructure on sites such as Saxon Brooke, Devon and Royal Waterside, Park Royal, North West London. When the Saxon Brooke development is fully completed in three years time, the community energy project will save 4,173 tonnes of CO2 per year, using 64% less than an equivalent development using traditional individual home energy systems.
We have been disclosing our carbon emissions and reduction activities to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) annually since 2010. In the most recent submission we have moved upwards in the CDP benchmark to a B grade (2015: C). The improvement in grade reflects the progress we have made by measuring awareness, management and by taking actions on climate change.
Our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions expressed in relation to the quantity of build we have undertaken have decreased by 4.2% to 2.5 tonnes of CO2e per 100m2 (2016: 2.61tCO2/100m2). Our GHG emissions are independently verified to a limited level of assurance.
We carefully consider the environmental impacts from all of our activities from the initial planning and design stage of the development through to the construction and completion of homes. At Colindale Gardens, London, 16 unused buildings were demolished to make way for new homes to be built.
All the materials from the demolition process were separated, with c5,500 tonnes of metal recycled and 61,000 cubic metres of concrete crushed and re-used on site as aggregates. The re-use of crushed concrete as infill, greatly reduces our environmental impact: it reduces the need to source fresh material from quarries and cart to landfill sites – as a result a huge number of local traffic movements are eliminated.
We are working closely with our subcontractors to reduce waste and increase recycling. For example, it is now a requirement of our trade specification for our painting contractors to recycle their paint cans. This has resulted in c10,000 cans being recycled in the year. We have increased the amount of waste we divert from landfill to 95.4% (2016: 94.8%).
HEALTH & SAFETY
Subcontractor engagement is essential to promote a positive health & safety culture. At Redrow, we continue to support our supply chain by organising and hosting numerous events over the year across the business.
Build output increased by 15% across the Group during the year: this increase in build activity on our sites led to a higher number of notifiable accidents per site during the year to 0.30 (2016: 0.20). Overall the number of reported accidents increased to 393 (2016: 318). Our accident trends are constantly reviewed and measures and campaigns are introduced and launched to improve performance – most recently we introduced a ‘slips and trips’ campaign to address an increase in minor accidents associated with this cause.
Before they can manage the creation of complex residential developments, our graduates need hands-on experience, working on site, and learning from our expert construction directors and site managers.
That’s why we put all of our graduates through a two-year programme, designed to show how what they learned at university is applied in real life, to ensure the highest levels of quality and health and safety are achieved on site.
As well as being mentored on site, graduates can continue their learning with Redrow.
We offer a variety of courses designed to help them work towards membership of the Chartered Institute of Building, as well as specialising in areas of the business that interest them.
“With Redrow there is endless potential to learn and progress,” says graduate trainee, Sean McFadden. “I’m really interested in getting more involved in the sustainability side of things and learning about different build processes.”
Redrow welcomed 20 new graduates on to its fast track management programme in 2017.
"We’re opening the door for graduates who want to fast track their careers in construction management."
Group HR Director