Constructionline and Wates join forces to drive use of social enterprises

A unique partnership with Wates Group, one of UK’s leading privately-owned construction and property services companies and Constructionline, the most connected provider of procurement and supply chain management services, looks set to open a new market of opportunities for the social enterprise sector.

Wates is widely acknowledged as one of the leading proponents of Social Enterprises (SEs) in the construction industry, as a founder member of SE UK’s Buy Social Corporate Challenge, and over several months has worked with Constructionline to shape its online procurement platform to improve routes to market for social enterprises.

Today this work comes to fruition, with the launch of the enhanced platform, encouraging Constructionline’s 4,700 buyers from across the construction industry to include social enterprises in their project supply chains.

The announcement comes amid a drive by Government to strengthen the Social Value Act, with Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington announcing changes to public sector procurement, with tenders to be awarded on the basis of social value as well as value for money. The use of SEs in supply chains, with their emphasis on delivering social value and community investment, will be key to companies meeting this obligation.

Constructionline CEO John Edmunds said:

“The financial and social benefits that social enterprises deliver for society are being increasingly recognised and rewarded. We are therefore delighted to partner with Wates and introduce a new question set, which will quickly identify those suppliers involved in social enterprise initiatives.”

“At Constructionline we have always championed SMEs and our partnership with Wates further enhances our reputation as the industry leader in this regard. Enabling our 4,700 buyers to find social enterprises strengthens our commitment to reducing duplication and saving buyers time and money, while connecting SME and SE members with some of the biggest and best buyers in the industry.”

Su Pickerill, Group Community Investment Manager at Wates Group said:

“Wates is committed to supporting the social enterprise sector and to maximising the social value both we and the industry can generate from our work. Social enterprises have the potential to address some major issues within construction, such as the skills shortage. Not only by helping to secure work for those furthest from the labour market, such as ex-offenders, or the long term unemployed, but also supporting people to re-engage with training and employment.

“We’re pleased to be working with Constructionline to highlight to our colleagues in the built environment the added value that Social Enterprises offer. By trading, we can support these organisations to scale and achieve greater impact.”

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