It has long been part of our purpose to help develop our communities into places that work fairly for all. We actively partner with businesses and organisations which focus on helping people to build upon their talents and develop skills in order to create equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of their background.
Of course, this goes for everything we do as a business internally, but also the ways in which we help our customers and communities, too.
Supporting our customers
We develop our spaces with people at the heart. We ensure that the working environment we create is fair for all of our customers by creating spaces with accessible environments for all and that allow everyone, no matter how they work best, to thrive.
This also means developing new spaces for customers and their employees to grow through innovative products and services that meet their needs. We’ve also ramped up our business support offering for our customers in order to positively impact their business, employees and communities through services such as Bruntwood Works’ Spark programme, insightful webinars with partners and customers, and connecting them with our partners.
Just one example of this is our partnership with the Growth Company to help businesses access and benefit from the Government’s new Kickstart scheme. The programme helps to give young people the opportunity to gain vital skills and experience that will boost their employability and supports businesses financially to provide that experience.
Supporting our communities
We cannot aim to fulfil our purpose of Creating Thriving Cities without supporting the communities within the regions we operate in. We have formed meaningful, long-lasting and impactful partnerships with organisations and businesses within each of our areas to ensure that we are doing just that.
Across each of our regions, we support local organisations and charities that are working with disadvantaged people in our communities. Whether that’s by providing individuals with opportunities to develop their skills and talents to access jobs and education or working with local governments and stakeholders to shape our cities’ long-term strategies. We want to help individuals, businesses and communities to achieve their ambitions and help those that they support to gain a better quality of life.
Working with the Oglesby Charitable Trust is also one of the many ways in which Bruntwood lives this purpose. The OCT was set up by Bruntwood founder, the late Michael Oglesby, and his wife, Jean with the broad aim of supporting the cities and communities where Bruntwood operates, by championing and supporting arts and culture, education, the environment, medical research and activity relating to social and health inequality, and encouraging others to do the same. The OCT activity is funded by the Oglesby family through profit generated by Bruntwood’s success and this year it has been focusing its efforts on supporting those who have suffered most due to the pandemic.
Supporting our colleagues
We want our colleagues to be able to work, learn and grow within environments that suit them. We offer people the opportunity to enter the industry and develop their skills through apprenticeships within our business and through our partners. But we also encourage on-going learning across all of our teams, providing access to learning modules, training courses and special loans for colleagues to pursue their passions. And beyond that, we want to make sure you have the chance to make a difference and improve things for generations to come.
In January, we were proud to become one of the first six employers to officially sign up to the Good Employment Charter. The charter aims to support employers to develop good jobs, deliver opportunities for people to progress, and help employers in the city-region grow and succeed.
As members of the Good Employment Charter, we demonstrate excellent practice in the key characteristics of employment practice, including: secure work; flexible work; workplace engagement and voice; a real living wage; excellent recruitment practices and progression; excellent people management; a productive and healthy workplace. We also act as advocates for the Charter, encouraging other businesses to raise employment standards and join the Charter process.
Alongside our commitment to the Good Employment Charter, this year we also became a Real Living Wage Employer. This is the only UK wage rate that is voluntarily paid by nearly 7,000 businesses. We are proud to commit to this as we believe that our employees deserve a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work. This accreditation confirms that we pay all of our colleagues, including third party contractors, a real living wage which is higher than the government minimum.
And, of course, our Covid response has been just as important in ensuring our colleagues can work effectively. We know that working from home isn’t the same for everyone and for some it has been a real struggle. Ensuring that our spaces are Covid-secure means that those who have difficulties working from home during the pandemic have still been able to access comfortable, safe and productive working environments.
We also wanted to make sure we were meeting the emotional and physical needs of our colleagues, too. We introduced additional Covid leave for colleagues to help those who had caring duties or who had to isolate due to the virus. This means that colleagues can look after themselves and their families, without worrying about using annual leave or sick leave.