The company scooped the top prize in the Integration and Collaborative Working category at the awards – widely regarded as construction’s equivalent of the Oscars – which celebrate raising industry performance to deliver a better built environment.
Stepnell was rewarded for its work with the Learning Skills Council to establish a pilot Skills Academy at Earl Mortimer College – formerly Minster College – in Leominster, Herefordshire. The Academy was set up while the company carried out a £20 million Building Schools for the Future Pathfinder project to design and build new college facilities at the site.
The initiative has enabled Stepnell to provide training and skills development opportunities that directly meet construction employers’ business needs. Through the programme, the company has also offered students from Earl Mortimer College and other local schools work experience, structured training and an introduction to construction industry careers.
Stepnell was automatically put forward for the National Constructing Excellence Award after securing a West Midlands Constructing Excellence Award for its work at the Skills Academy earlier this year. Managing director Mark Wakeford accepted the award on the company’s behalf at a specially-arranged ceremony held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, central London.
“The success of the Skills Academy has been made possible by the close working relationship developed between all parties involved in the pilot scheme and we are delighted it has received national recognition,” explains Mark. “One of the greatest challenges currently facing construction companies is identifying and recruiting talented individuals who can take the industry forward in the future. The Academy has allowed dozens of young people to get their first taste of the industry and gain a better understanding of what a career in construction would be like.”
Image: Stepnell managing director Mark Wakeford (centre) receives the National Constructing Excellence Award for Integration and Collaborative Working from Philip Foster of Achilles (right), sponsor of the National Constructing Excellence Awards, and comedian Bob Mills (left).