Esh Group is one of the 2018 Queen's Awards for Promoting Opportunity winners. Andy Radcliffe, chief executive officer at Esh Group, shares his thoughts on why they have applied and what it has meant to win.
Why we applied for a Queen's Award in Promoting Opportunity
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is the most respected business award in the UK. At Esh we are ambitious, innovative and proud of what we do so it made perfect sense to apply. We knew the recognition would motivate our team and confirm to clients and partners the high quality of our work and commitment to communities. And let’s face it – who doesn’t want a stamp of approval from The Queen?
The Awards are for businesses that strive to be the best that they can be – and I think we fit the bill. It is a rigorous and challenging judging process which makes it all the more meaningful.
Esh applied for the Promoting Opportunity category because we passionately believe in supporting people from all walks of life to achieve their potential. I am proud to say we do that in a number of ways.
Our Get into STEM programme provides free-of-charge resources to teachers of Early Years and Key Stage 1 pupils to inspire an interest in STEM learning. In 2017 we delivered kits to 73 schools which were used by more than 3,200 students. Moreover, our Building My Skills scheme provides students aged 14 to 19 with an introduction to the world of work. Students are shown how to write job applications and participate in talks, delivered by partners in our supply chain and beyond. These include introductions to a wide range of businesses and the job types available. In 2017 we delivered 370 sessions with the help of 132 partner companies and organisations.
More than 10% of the Esh Group workforce are apprentices – from hands-on construction roles to office-based business roles. In fact, many of our senior managers started as apprentices. We work with training providers, schools, colleges and universities to build routes into careers – particularly from those people who might struggle to get into the job market.
How the Award will help Esh Group
In short, the benefits are huge. It will not only help us win new projects, but it will help us continue to attract the brightest and best people to our expert team – those with a passion for delivering more than just construction projects.
Every day I see the role our Added Value programmes play in building Esh Group’s profile. Adding the Queen’s Award badge to our name only strengthens that message.
For our employees – many of whom devote their time and energy to help deliver the Added Value programmes – the Award is a reason to take pride in their own work, and in Esh Group.
Our advice for Queen’s Awards hopefuls
If you are thinking about entering your organisation – go for it! Just make sure you match up your achievements and the category, bringing in evidence to support your case. At Esh Group we are lucky to have a dedicated Added Value team that gathers facts and figures on a daily basis. Showing the development of your strategy is a sure fire way to build a strong entry.
More about Esh Group
Esh Group is a leading construction company that delivers multi-million pound projects for a range of public and private sector clients.
Communities are at the heart of everything we do. We not only develop the built environment but support people by providing opportunities for skills development, working with local supply chains to create value and investing in our commitment to the environment.
We carry out civil engineering projects, commercial building, house building for local authorities and registered housing providers, property maintenance, facilities management, fencing and landscaping. All this is delivered by a team of more than 1,200 people in locations covering the North of England and Scotland.