Sheffield training scheme is a soar away success

October 28, 2013

Soar away success group shotOne of the country’s construction training success stories has had its commitment to developing its employees officially recognised by a Government scheme.

Sheffield-based SOAR Build has earned an ‘Investors in People’ award in recognition of its efforts to nurture the tradesmen of tomorrow through its work on housing improvement programmes across the city.

Thousands of businesses apply for the accreditation each year, but only a few receive it. The award is given to companies that can best show they have career development plans in place and workplaces where staff feel valued and can progress.

It follows visits by assessors to SOAR Build’s offices, interviews with members of staff and trainees and an investment of £4,500 in ensuring the company made the standard.

The news is fitting recognition for the company, which was set up in Parson Cross as a joint venture between community regeneration specialists Keepmoat and SOAR Enterprises to help residents build new careers in construction.

Since 2006, SOAR Build has helped 35 local people into employment in Sheffield – and four of them have gone on to work for themselves.

Soar Build General Manager, Phil Wright said: “We spent nearly six months working towards this so we are delighted to get the award. Assessors have spoken with 10 of our staff on site and watched how we work with them. It was a rigorous assessment and we feel that the award is well earned.

“The best thing about the process was having the assessor come back from the sites telling us about the positive feedback he had got from our staff. He said he had never had such positive feedback.

“Since we were set up, our guiding mission has been to give people the tools to succeed at work, through providing the opportunities, experience and training they need to sustain their careers in the industry.

“We are committed to developing our people, and that is one of the reasons why have become successful.”

SOAR Build is currently working in partnership with Sheffield Homes, Acis and Parkway Housing to deliver major improvements to the city’s social housing. This success has seen the not-profit company’s turnover grow to an expected level of £2m for the first time this year, up from £1m in 2007.

The company has also recently expanded to work on social housing regeneration schemes in Leeds, Nottingham, Mansfield, Lincolnshire and Wakefield.
SOAR Build trainee Lee Smith, an 18 year old trainee painter and decorator, was recently shortlisted for the Dulux regional Apprentice of the Year awards.