Barratt Developments partners with former Education Secretary to close Opportunity Gap.
October 2020: Barratt Developments, the UK’s leading housebuilder, has today unveiled a new action plan in partnership with former Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Justine Greening, and underlined its commitment to creating career opportunities in the housebuilding sector.
The plan sets out areas of best practice, where others can learn from Barratt Developments, as well as recommendations to ensure more people are able to progress in careers, unhindered by their background or lack of connections. Taking action to support social mobility will create opportunities for everyone and build a stronger and more effective business for Barratt at the same time.
Justine Greening and Rob Tansey, group HR director at Barratt Developments, launched the action plan together at Stephensons College, Leicestershire, where she met two current apprentices (Ben Doody and Joshua Jiffur) from the Barratt Apprentice Academy based at the College. There she learnt about how Barratt teaches bricklaying and carpentry and tried both trades for herself. Also in attendance were Dawn Whitemore, principal and chief executive of The SMB Group and Callum Crozier, director of policy and engagement at the Social Mobility Pledge.
During her visit, she also heard how Barratt Developments is helping the UK to build back better from the effects of Covid-19.
Through its highly successful apprenticeship scheme and its award winning Armed Forces Transition Programme, Barratt already works hard to create accessible routes into a construction career. But the new report and action plan sets out areas where Barratt can do more even, targeting its resources to help those communities where inequality is highest and social mobility the lowest.
Barratt Developments is one of a pioneering group of UK businesses and universities aiming to set a new and higher standard on boosting social mobility in Britain, with boardroom focus on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues.
Barratt Developments is a signatory to the Social Mobility Pledge, cofounded by Justine Greening in 2018, after she left the Government, alongside UK entrepreneur David Harrison. The Pledge asks businesses and universities to commit to levelling up Britain by partnering with local schools, offering apprenticeships and using open and fair recruitment practices.
Justine Greening said:
“Achieving true social mobility in Britain and levelling up our country is a huge challenge but one that businesses and universities are rising to. I am delighted that Barratt Developments is at the forefront of this environment, social and corporate governance agenda. Publishing this action plan today sends out a clear signal that Barratt is raising the standard of corporate ESG, it was great to visit the team and to meet their apprentices who showed me their skills. I hope many more businesses will join us to make Britain a high skilled, high knowledge economy.”
David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said:
“We want to build without barriers and are committed to ensuring everyone reaches their potential. We are proud to have more than double the national average of women in construction. But we know we can do more. This report reaffirms our commitment and sets out the ways that we can go further in the years ahead. As the country’s leading housebuilder and a major employer we have an important role to play as the country looks to recover beyond the coronavirus pandemic.”