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Procure Plus Holdings has been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise after helping thousands of people from disadvantaged communities in to sustainable, meaningful employment

The surpluses generated from the procurement business are used to train and develop people who find themselves distanced from the employment market, but we don’t and can’t do it alone. That is why in 22/23 Procure Plus engaged with 75 Local Employment Groups across all the projects we support. These groups are typically based within the heart of communities and offer much more than employability support, they provide a sense of unity and well-being to the communities they work in.

Construction Training Solutions is a group that Procure Plus have engaged with in this way on the On-Site Experience project in Lancashire. Fully funded by CITB, the On-Site Experience Commission aims to increase the number of people trained in construction supported by the opportunity to gain actual experience (and subsequently – employment) as a way of continuing to tackle the skill shortage across the UK spanning 2021-2023. We have recently been awarded the commission in Lancashire, Cheshire and North Wales. Construction Training Solutions are based in Blackpool, one of the most deprived wards in Lancashire. They support unemployed residents to get them work ready, via mentoring and training. To date the partnership between Procure Plus and CTS has supported over 250 people through training and over 100 of them have gone into employment.

Of these 75 groups, Procure Plus has funded 35 directly, supporting their employability services for these groups of candidates, and a further 40 groups have been engaged to support Procure Plus’ delivery of construction related jobs created through its frameworks or externally awarded contracts.

How does it work?

We work in partnership with groups by sending them job or training opportunities which they can refer candidates to. These candidates are then supported through the opportunity by both ourselves and the LEG (Local Employment Group). As well as achieving a positive outcome for the candidate, we also support the groups financially with a referral fee for candidates who successfully go on to employment. The LEG can use that money to support more candidates through their services

I have personally seen how the Procure Plus’s model moves people from training into work experience which then moves them into employment. For CTS to be able to work with the hardest hit young people in our area, who are NEET, in care, just left care, are on probation or sometimes all of these it has been a real pleasure. To be able to mentor them, get them onto a construction training programme, using their hands, not in a classroom setting, using the funding to get them the qualifications they need to move forward. This is not only an achievement for the learners, but for the training provider, Procure Plus, CITB and myself. To see people move themselves out of poverty, into work, is something we are very proud of. This project is working and through this funding many people are now working, they are off benefits, their mental health and wellbeing is improved and they are now part of the wonderful sector we call construction.

– Roberta Austin, CEO of Construction Training Solutions

Download the full case study here.