? Building block… Wates Group, one of the UK’s largest construction companies, has launched the industry’s first national brokerage service to help social enterprises trade with all of its sites in the UK, with the aim of spending £5m with the sector by 2015.
The Social Enterprise National Brokerage service – run in partnership with Social Enterprise UK, the sector’s national body – will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for its teams of construction workers required to source services from social enterprises at each construction site. Support will be offered through an online directory and telephone helpline.
Social Enterprise UK says the move is a sign that more private companies working in the public sector are embracing the Social Value Act, and trading with social enterprises for their access to local labour markets and expertise creating social value. Findings from the recent State of Social Enterprise Survey 2013 shows almost half of social enterprises now trade with the private sector, while 52% of social enterprises actively employ people who are disadvantaged in the labour market, and 57% draw 100% of their workforce from the local areas in which they operate.
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