From the Ground Up – Improving the delivery of social value in construction

YTKO CEO, Bev Hurley, CBE, in her role as Chair of the Institute of Economic Development recently headed major new research into improving delivery of social value in the construction industry, resulting in publication of the research report, “From the Ground Up – Improving the delivery of social value in construction.”

The report which was the culmination of twelve months work by the IED, co-authors Arup & Atkins, together with partners Commonplace and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, explores all aspects of social value in the construction sector. 

A key highlight of the report was that there is currently no comprehensive definition of social value which creates a lack of focus on its execution and its successful evaluation. The research calls for rapid change in procurement, delivery and monitoring processes, to enable this. 

The research behind the report, From the Ground Up – Improving the delivery of social value in construction, was carried out with construction multi-nationals and SMEs, local authorities, public sector and specialist third sector organisations culminated in five recommendations:

  • Establish a Construction Social Value Centre of Excellence
  • Agree a definition of social value and what activities are within scope for the construction sector
  • Update the Treasury Green Book, the Social Value Act and initiate mandatory reporting 
  • Upskill the public and private sector to work collaboratively to offer continuing professional development on all aspects of social value
  • Support and upskill local VCS organisations and SMEs not in the supply chain

“Construction is central to placemaking, economic development and UK employment, and the sector spend is estimated to be £500 billion by the end of the decade. Social value is playing an increasing part in the procurement process, but we found that there are significant challenges across all aspects.

There are huge opportunities and requirements for the public sector, industry and government to step up to the plate, to make sure that every one of those construction pounds delivers additional tangible social impact, and makes a major contribution to our most disadvantaged citizens and left-behind communities as we plan our post Covid-19 strategy,” said Bev, Hurley, Chair of the IED. 

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