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Construction News Awards finalists: Employer of the Year

The finalists in Employer of the Year have all demonstrated commitment to their employees and strive to make their company a great place to work.


In 2013, just six months after achieving Investors in People Gold accreditation, Amey was reassessed and upgraded to Champion status. This means it can mentor and support apprenticeship and development programmes at other organisations.

Within Amey, training is adapted to different contracts, with project-specific training for all staff.

A Career Path Framework shows a simple view of all jobs the company offers, and the Amey Academy offers information on training in one place – with at least five days’ training given per employee every year.

GAP Group

GAP opened 14 new depots across the UK in 2013, meaning recruitment was at an all-time high with staff numbers increasing by 6 per cent to 1,050.

The company has a policy of promoting from within, resulting in 90 employees (8 per cent of the workforce) receiving an internal promotion last year.

GAP also offers apprenticeships through the LifeMAPS scheme, taking on 14 new apprentices last year, with every depot having at least one apprentice at any one time.

Lagan Construction Group

Lagan Construction Group has undertaken a long-term localisation strategy, designed to establish a strong homegrown management structure where the business operates.

This has seen success so far across England, Scotland and Wales, as well as internationally.

The company has also received recognition for the role its leaders take within the business – one example last year was Business Briefs, where board members toured the UK, Ireland and international offices to talk to staff and hold open forums.


Oktra invested considerable time and money – around £1,000 and 12 days per employee – into staff development and training last year.

Every employee has a skills development plan to help them map out their career progression and monthly town hall-style meetings provide an open forum for discussion.

Employees also helped spread the word about the company’s rebrand from Margolis to Oktra last year, ensuring its success.

Pick Everard

With 432 employees today compared with 330 this time last year, Pick Everard is clearly a growing business.

All of its staff are consulted about business plans on a regular basis, with employees encouraged to undertake training and development wherever possible.

The company also runs a travel plan, offering money-saving opportunities to staff in the form of car-sharing schemes, public transport discounts and flexible working.

Story Contracting

Story Contracting launched Evolve last year, a new employee development programme. Evolve defined all aspects of the ‘deal’ between Story and its staff, outlining ‘what great looks like’ for all roles.

More than 80 per cent of staff attended workshops and teambuilding events, increasing engagement and understanding greatly between different departments.

All of this contributed to the company’s growth last year, with turnover rising by more than 30 per cent.

Tamdown Group

Effective communication is at the centre of Tamdown’s approach to business, with quarterly communication days held to deliver important messages to employees and receive their ideas and suggestions.

To build on this, the company launched its In-Touch programme, where site foremen spend time in other business departments from buying and surveying to plant, payroll and HR.

This has strengthened relationships and helped employees across the firm better understand one another.

VolkerWessels UK

VolkerWessels UK has significantly increased investment in its employees since 2012, introducing structured talent management and succession planning.

Time spent on training has increased, with behavioural safety and leadership programmes just some of the initiatives undertaken.

The company’s accident frequency rate improved significantly to 0.12 as a result and employee survey results have seen positive results.

It has also worked closely with the armed forces and local government to encourage entry into the industry.

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