The Social Value Act 2013 set the expectation that social value would be a consideration when awarding public sector contracts. The 2018 Civil Society Strategy went further, to require that all major procurements explicitly evaluate social value, where appropriate, rather than just consider it. For organisations like ours that had always embraced the idea and sought to give something back through every project, this was a welcome development.
Social value delivery is very much embedded in our values and business strategy. Where it all becomes meaningful is when you look at an individual project and ask: how much social value was delivered and what did it look like to the people involved?
So let’s take a dive into the Thrive report for our Flitwick Interchange project up to June 2022. Thrive is the tool we use to record and report the social value we generate. It gives us an objective way to measure what we do.
During the project we’ve directly hired six local people and spent £292,642 with local supply chain partners. The total value of local hires and job creation was £104,281.
Education and Skills
260 people hours were spent on learning interventions on site (up skilling our staff). We have given 174 people hours on activities with schools and Bedford College. These activities help improve employability skills and promote the range of excellent career opportunities in the sector.
Interventions included curriculum support, mock interviews, work experience opportunities, industry talks, and delivering a five week STEM Bridge Building Challenge.
Sustainability is another important aspect of social value. During the Flitwick Interchange project we’ve supported 9 people with sustainable travel, installed electric vehicle charging points and eco cabins on site and recycled 3715 tonnes of waste, diverting it from landfill.
Our teams appreciate the opportunity to engage with local communities through our social value initiatives. Community donations totalled £5,926, which included sponsoring the town council Family Funday. We also created an information board for the station and gave professional advice for a future community project.
We’re proud of our long-standing contribution to social value delivery. It’s very much part of our DNA, along with our four key pillars, including our four key pillars. And it’s highly motivating for everyone when we can use a tool like Thrive to demonstrate and quantify just how much we do.
If you’d like to know more about Octavius Infrastructure’s commitment to delivering social value, visit our transport infrastructure resource centre, or contact Mike Todd (email@example.com).