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Prestigious contract highlights value of responsible business practice

The construction team at leading recruiter Acorn has been awarded the contract to supply workers for Bouygues UK’s pioneering Cardiff Innovation Campus (CIC) construction project on the basis of its responsible business practices.

Acorn will supply resources and provide employment opportunities for staff at the state-of-the-art Cardiff University campus, which will house two world-leading scientific research organisations – the Institute for Compound Semiconductors and the Cardiff Catalysis Institute.

In order to ensure they had the right skills available for the duration of the build, Bouygues UK was seeking a specialist recruitment partner, and one that would also be able to meet its social and ethical expectations. Acorn was able to demonstrate that it has previously led recruitment for the building of a variety of construction projects that demonstrated a real commitment to supporting local communities and people looking for a new chance to get their lives back on track.

Acorn presented examples where through supplying people to a construction project, they also incorporated providing opportunities to support rehabilitation of ex-offenders, help people affected by homelessness and help the long-term unemployed back into work.

Marc Jones, Director of Operations at Acorn Recruitment explained: “As a business, we have always believed that getting people into work is only half of the job we do. We are building communities, supporting economies and strengthening social structures.

“Knowing that Bouygues UK shares very similar values to Acorn and that it was looking for a recruitment partner that had social value at the core of its work, we were really keen to work with them.”

Bouygues UK aims to encourage an increase in local skills through the CIC project by providing around 30 work placements, creating 35 new apprenticeship opportunities and delivering nearly 2,000 training weeks.

Marc added: “Through our work in construction, manufacturing and engineering we have placed some 40 ex-offenders into permanent positions in the past two years alone. We work with local homeless charity The Wallich to help ex-offenders and those who have found themselves on the streets to start again, to work with a mentor and to secure permanent jobs.

“We also do a lot of work to encourage women into the construction industry and through a variety of events and schemes Acorn has organised or been involved with, we have recently placed 16 women on construction sites across South Wales alone.”

Leigh Hughes, CSR Director at Bouygues UK, said: “Bouygues is an innovative construction company, which has corporate social responsibility and ethical values at heart, and so when we were looking for a recruitment partner for this leading project we needed a company which understood the value of that ethos and shared our vision. We were delighted to find that in Acorn.

“The fact that most of what we were seeking in a partner was already happening as a matter of course at Acorn was a great encouragement to us. They didn’t have to start from scratch and set any of these schemes up, they were already in place and working well – which was a great help.

“Acorn already has a longstanding working relationship with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and many of its team members were Fairness Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Ambassadors, which is an initiative we wholeheartedly support and are using already in our supply chain.”

Leigh continued: “Cardiff Innovation Campus is a prestigious, ambitious and innovative project that will be the home to some of the world’s most exciting scientific institutions and we are very proud to be building it for the University.

“We are pleased to be working with Acorn Recruitment on CIC and look forward to welcoming new employees to Bouygues UK and the world of construction.”

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