We believe that effective infrastructure supports the development of thriving communities. It creates access to services that include education and health, and it supports economic growth and prosperity. Our vision is to deliver sustainable growth through intelligent infrastructure solutions, excellent service, and to leave a positive impact on the communities we work in and we have decades of experience in developing our local connections.

Collaboration is key to success. By pooling cross sector expertise, we harness the creativity, resources, and capabilities of the private, public and third sector to drive meaningful social change in the communities where we work. By establishing and nurturing trusted relationships and shared goals with the community, our ‘do with’ not ‘do for’ approach puts communities and clients at the heart of our decision making leading to optimal outcomes.

Our Approach

Our Social Value Strategy ‘The Real Why’ sets out how we will collaborate with our clients, sector partners, and stakeholders to truly understand their drivers, so that we can develop tailored and impactful programmes. In doing so, we are harnessing the creativity, resources, and capabilities of all sectors, to drive meaningful social change. The Real Why reflects our core values of Caring, Sharing and Daring in it’s collaborative, meaningful and innovative approaches.

It aligns with, and complements the international Colas Group’s CSR Strategy - “Act & Commit Together (ACT) 2030”. This broader group commitment ensures that our initiatives are supported by the extensive resources and capabilities of the worldwide Colas Group, and helps to ensure that our Social Value Strategy is linked to other key business imperatives – including our environmental, de-carbonisation, sustainable procurement, and inclusive employment strategies.

Education Partnerships

For our business, encouraging younger generations into our sector is a strategic aim, and we partner with schools across the country to showcase the breath of roles and career pathways available, inspiring students in primary, secondary and college level education.

In addition to supporting school organised events we design our own and have recently delivered our first Sustainability Challenge and awareness workshops to teach new drivers about the dangers of bad driving habits and Traffic Management incursions.  Our approach is aligned to the Gatsby benchmarks and research based, driving us to influence the influencers via Teacher Encounters and engaging with parents.

Reintegration to Employment

We worked with the Growing Rooms Team and Leeds City Council Leaving Care Service, to develop a pilot Reintegration to Employment (RtE) programme, a programme which provides a closely-supported, four-stage intervention programme which leads to high quality, flexible employment opportunities for those facing significant barriers to employment.

We piloted the scheme with a participant of the St George’s Crypt ‘Growing Rooms’ programme in Leeds, which provided therapeutic addiction recovery services and temporary accommodation to the Leeds homeless community. Work ready candidates were identified by Growing Rooms therapists, and brough through our 4 month, staged recruitment process at their own pace. This includes pre-employment activities and a Real Living Wage paid work training placement while maintaining regular check-ins via Colas mentors and Growing Rooms staff to ensure their wellbeing. This staggered approach enabled the individual to slowly build their confidence (and to maintain their Universal Credit) while they completed the programme, and a full time job when they moved from temporary to permanent accommodation. Since the success of this pilot we have replicated it with Leeds Leaving Care Team, HMP Armley, Happy Days charity in Kirklees, job centres in Leeds and Chester and Nobody Left Behind Charity in Liverpool. 

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