Employing local people in construction

The larger the development, the more benefits there are from ensuring local people are employed in the construction. Possibly even more important is ensuring local people can benefit from on-site training, as this is an investment that will benefit the individuals, the community, and the construction industry itself.

Row of shops

There are a range of mechanisms to enable this, from the compulsory to the voluntary. These range from legal requirements through a planning agreement, conditions of the land transfer, and/or public regeneration funding. However much can be achieved voluntarily, large builders often have training schemes to employ local people, and they see benefits from recruiting local workers.

The most important point is to make it simple for contractors to do this, by minimising bureaucracy, ensuring good links with local colleges and jobcentres. At the very least, a scheme to train people for CSCS cards (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) should be considered.

Main contractors can be required to include local firms on tender lists for sub-contracts, and a local enterprise agency can help smaller firms bid for sub-contracts, and bring smaller firms into consortia to handle larger contracts. An agreement to pay sub-contractors quickly should be included in the tender documentation, as risk of delayed payments is a common disincentive to small firms.

A good pratice guide can be downloaded from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation