As a family-owned business we know our people are at the core of our continuing success. It’s our people who make Wates successful, and only by recruiting the best people, providing an environment where diversity, opinions, inclusivity and opportunity are encouraged, will we achieve our strategic business objectives.
COMMITMENT TO EQUALITY
Our respect for people and our commitment to equality is captured in our equality, diversity and inclusion policy.
We are proud to be recognised as an excellent employer through our national accreditation with C2E (Committed to Equality) which we secured in 2015, and was subject to re-accreditation in 2016. We have retained our ‘Gold’ status reflecting our commitment to attracting, recruiting and retaining the best people regardless of their background.
Our commitment to equality is enshrined in our Reshaping Tomorrow programme which sets out our approach to eliminating discrimination and building inclusion, fairness and respect across our business.
GROWING OUR BUSINESS IN LINE WITH OUR ASPIRATIONS
The Wates Group continues to pursue a prudent but ambitious sustainable growth agenda. Key to this is the recruitment and development of our people.
In 2016, 630 new recruits joined Wates in addition to the transfer of over 350 new colleagues as part of the Birmingham City Council contract win in our Living Space business.
We successfully completed the integration of the acquired businesses of the Shepherd Group and as at the end of 2016 we now employ 3931 people to support our business plans.
DEVELOPING OUR PEOPLE AND TRAINING
We continue to invest heavily in the development of our people. We recognise the need to continually review and refresh our training and development to remain competitive in the market.
In 2016 we maintained our investment of over £1m in learning and development, delivering over 4,000 training days.
Of particular note is the launch of a Behavioural Safety Leadership programme for all our leaders to ensure that we remain on track in our ambition to deliver a ‘zero harm’ environment across all of our business areas.
We will continue to invest substantial sums in the development of our people, making increasing use of e-learning modules to enable wider access to training for our people, irrespective of their geographic location.
RECRUITMENT DRIVE AND FORWARD STRATEGY
We continue to focus on attracting new talent into Wates, particularly through our Early Careers strategy. Led by a dedicated Early Careers team, we successfully recruited 54 new trainees during 2016, bringing the overall number of trainees engaged on current Wates trainee programmes to 132.
In addition, we continued to support the recruitment and development of trade apprentices across the Group, with 92 currently in employment either directly or through our dedicated Wates Apprenticeship Training Agency (WATA).
As members of The 5% club, an alliance of companies aiming to engage young people into the workforce, we are committed to ensuring that 5% of our workforce is on a formal apprenticeship, student, or graduate training programme. We are on track for exceeding our commitment over the next five years.