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31 July 2013 | Will Green
Wates Group has set up a new body to boost the number of social enterprises in the construction company’s supply chain.
The firm has created the Social Enterprise National Brokerage service, which provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ for construction teams to source services from social enterprises at each site.
The service, set up in partnership with Social Enterprise UK (SEUK), aims to spend £5 million with the sector by 2015.
The brokerage service – expected to be used by project managers at each site – consists of an online directory of vetted suppliers and a telephone helpline run by SEUK.
SEUK says the move is a sign firms are embracing the Social Value Act, while its own Social Enterprise Survey 2013 shows almost half of social enterprises now trade with the private sector.
According to SEUK the average annual turnover of social enterprises increased from £175,000 in 2009 to £240,000 in 2012.
Paul Drechsler, CEO of Wates, said: “The construction industry offers great opportunities for major contractors and suppliers to work with social enterprises to achieve positive social and economic impact on communities. We are totally committed to increasing social enterprise as an integral part of our procurement process.”
Nick Temple, director of business and enterprise at SEUK, said: “This brokerage service will not only influence the construction sector, but the wider business community too.”