Procure Plus Holdings has been awarded a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the ‘Promoting Opportunity through Social Mobility’ category.
Procure Plus Holdings, which comprises Procure Plus, Re:Vision and OSCO Homes, has been honoured for its work in promoting opportunity through social mobility due to its innovative approach to intelligent procurement.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise were established in 1965 and are the highest official recognition for British businesses. The highly-respected honours are given to companies that excel within areas such as International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development. Promoting Opportunity through Social Mobility is a new category for 2017 and recognises organisations that are providing high quality initiatives and programmes that specifically reach out to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Procure Plus Holdings specialises in the procurement of goods and services for the social housing sector, and generates a surplus that it uses to fund training and development programmes within the communities where its clients live.
In the last eight years, it has helped more than 1,320 people into sustainable employment by providing these opportunities. People selected for its range of programmes are those most requiring support and are often regarded as the furthest from the job market, including ex-offenders.
Explaining why Procure Plus Holdings was chosen as a recipient of a Queen’s Award, organisers highlighted the long-term support that it offers, with 83% of its candidates completing a level 2 qualification or apprenticeship or remaining in employment beyond six months.
“We’re incredibly proud to have won this award – a prestigious accolade that is testament to the hard work, dedication and passion of the team at Procure Plus and our supporting partners. Procure Plus was created to deliver outstanding procurement services and significant social benefits to people in local communities around the North West. Over the years, we’ve been committed to promoting opportunity through social mobility, and being recognised for our efforts, on such a grand scale, means a lot.”
One of the many initiatives set up by Procure Plus Holdings is OSCO Homes, a wholly-owned subsidiary that has been created to offer a faster and cost effective way of delivering truly affordable quality homes. The organisation uses off-site construction methods and trains inmates from HM Hindley Prison to work in the OSCO factory, leading to full-time employment on release.
“Since being released, I’ve started working for OSCO using the new rendering skills I learnt during the training programme – it’s given me something to focus on. I’ve been inside a few times in my life and I think if something like this had been available earlier, it would’ve changed my decision making and I wouldn’t have re-offended.”
Another person who has benefited from the support of Procure Plus Holdings is Lucy Walker*, who received training to become a plasterer after being made redundant from her job as a nursery nurse. Lucy has won several awards throughout her training, including the Apprentices Apprentice Award, and has recently become self-employed.