We support young people in the communities we serve, by creating jobs, apprenticeships and opportunities for graduates, but also by maximising the educational value of the work we do. We work with third sector partners to ensure no-one is left behind in developing skills and having the opportunity to access work.
Supporting young people to access and understand the workplace
COVID-19 has had a marked impact on young people across the UK – to reinforce our support we developed a Young People Strategy, outlining a number of opportunities
- Amey signed up to the Government’s Kickstart scheme to help support young people aged 16 to 24 and on universal credit whose job prospects have been affected by COVID-19.
- As part of our ongoing partnership with The Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme (GEEP), Amey support graduates to gain insights into engineering, learn employability skills and giving networking opportunities at a virtual conference. It aims to encourage engineering graduates from diverse backgrounds into engineering employment. Over the last five years, more than 800 students have taken part in the GEEP programme, more than 90% of whom are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
- We continue to deliver our apprenticeship programme, offering a range of opportunities. This year we were proud to launch the UK’s first Rail Degree Apprenticeship – a fully-funded five-year BEng apprenticeship scheme in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University while working on current railway projects.
- Amey Consulting won the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award at the Rail Industry Supplier Excellence (RISE) Awards for this rail degree apprenticeship programme.
Partnering with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
We continued our long-standing partnership with the DofE Award – a programme that develops important skills and attributes among young people, taking them out of their comfort zone and challenging them to self-develop. Amey supports the charity to help young people from disadvantaged communities to complete the award, examples include:
- Championing the ‘DofE certificate of Achievement’ – a formal recognition of participants’ achievements in the Skills, Volunteering and Physical sections of the award, while COVID-19 has affected the ability to go ahead with the Residential and Expedition requirements
- Engaging with participants who completed the award while serving a sentence in prison
- Participating in the DofE Adventure – Amey employees across the UK walked, ran and cycled more than 18km over ten days in August in support of the DofE. Team Amey collectively travelled more than 1,152km – the distance between our most southerly location at Forest Park Waste Recovery Site on the Isle of Wight to one of our most northerly locations, Bargeddie in Scotland. Raising over £5,000, Amey was announced as the DofE’s top workplace fundraising team
- Refreshing Amey’s own DofE Business Award – and giving 25 young employees the opportunity to complete the programme
Launching our Education Hub
Recognising the difficulties faced by young people in engaging with workplaces, we launched our online education hub. The hub provides free access to a range of inclusive activities and resources that we hope will bring some fun in to the home as well as educate, engage and inspire our young people. Projects range from designing a railway route and building structures to learning more about the environment.
To encourage online learning, recycling and protect local wildlife during the COVID-19 lockdown, we ran a competition to build a bird-feeder from recycled materials. The competition was supported by online classes delivered in collaboration with Girlguiding UK, and by mail drops in communities where Amey operates waste collection and waste treatment contracts.
We developed a new ‘Chat and Learn’ initiative, hosting 1:1 online career talks between students (aged 14-18) and Amey employees to help students learn about the various career opportunities available to them and how to reach their chosen career path.
Opening doors to those that face barriers or inequality
We recognise it is not enough simply to advertise job roles through traditional channels if we are to support the employment of people who face particular barriers. We work proactively with partners to target audiences that we know have difficulties in accessing jobs and have focused our efforts on the following groups:
- Prison leavers – we partner with New Futures Network, Recycling Lives, Forge Ahead and The Forward Trust (formerly Blue Sky) to support the employment of prison leavers. These organisations help us to identify individuals, as well as supporting and advising on wider needs
- Supported internships – we support people with learning disabilities, giving them opportunities to experience the workplace, and then go on to apply for full time roles
- Service leavers and their families – Amey is a signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant and has achieved Gold in the Defence Employee Recognition Scheme for employing and supporting ex-Forces personnel, military partners/spouses and veterans. We partner with Women in Defence, BuildForce, the Careers Transition Partnership, Open University, Forces Families Jobs, SSAFA and RBLI – supported by our internal Armed Forces Network of 120 employees.
A new partnership with the Social Mobility Pledge
We began a new partnership with the Social Mobility Pledge (SMP) built on our belief that talent is spread evenly, but opportunity is not. To kick off the partnership we hosted founder Justine Greening and the SMP team at our Staffordshire Highways project in October. In 2021 we will launch our ‘Opportunity Gap’ report – setting out recommendations and commitments to take forward. This will include action to increase and support social mobility, whilst supporting ex-offenders, veterans, and the long-term unemployed into work.