Hull-based construction firm, Hobson & Porter, has seen off fierce competition from some of the biggest names in the industry to scoop the prestigious ‘People Development’ accolade at the national and highly acclaimed Constructing Excellence Awards.
Hull headquartered Hobson & Porter was presented with the award at The London Marriott Grosvenor Square, in recognition of the company’s successful Foundations Programme, which it launched in 2016 with the aim of creating a sustainable workforce for the construction industry.
The national awards showcase excellence in the built environment across England and Wales, bringing together the regional winners from 16 different categories to celebrate the very best of the best.
Hobson & Porter’s invite to the industry’s top table came after the company won the equivalent accolade at the Constructing Excellence in Yorkshire & Humberside (CEYH) Awards earlier this year, as well as being highly commended in the ‘SME of the Year’ category.
The national awards proved to be particularly successful for the Yorkshire and Humber region. In total, there were five wins and a highly commended prize for the region, across the 16 categories, with Mason Clark Associates, Tilbury Douglas, Environment Agency (Yorkshire), Seismic Consortium and Kier Group also picking up honours.
The national judges praised Hobson & Porter’s Foundations Programme, which has developed into a collective drive to reduce the construction industry’s skills shortage in the north of England.
In addition to attending regular careers events, Hobson & Porter invests more than £150,000 each year in the training and development of its directly employed team and recruits at least six apprentices each year and an equal number of non-apprentice-based trainees.
The company is also planning to remove a significant barrier that prevents people getting live construction site experience via a new initiative that will be known as ‘The Foundations Experience,’ which will launch soon. The plan is to provide a live construction site environment at Bishop Burton College, where learners can get hands-on site experience, which is vital for their progression.
Each October the company also organises and hosts Foundations Live at Bishop Burton College which is now one of the north’s biggest construction, trade, networking, and careers events. Last month’s event attracted over 200 industry professionals and more than 400 students of all ages who were able to meet and develop contacts with representatives and exhibitors from more than 80 leading names in the construction industry.
David Blades, SHEQ director at Hobson & Porter, which employs around 120 people, said: “Six years after launching Foundations, to win a national award for our efforts is incredible for our whole team and everyone who supports the initiative.
“The skills shortage facing the construction industry is too big to overcome by only promoting our own apprenticeships or training programmes, but by bringing the whole industry together and using our collective power, we genuinely believe we can make a difference, as well as giving people the opportunity to enjoy successful and rewarding careers.
“The way Foundations has grown and gained momentum over the past six years is phenomenal. However, we couldn’t do it without the support of our clients, suppliers, our competitors and everyone else involved in the construction industry, who can see the bigger picture and work together for the greater good of the industry, and this award is testament to that.”