The 2021 National Social Value Conference: Wales is just 2 weeks away. We invited Jess Morgan, Social Impact Manager for the western region at BAM Construct UK, to discuss why social value plays a vital role within the construction industry.
I am sure most Social Value professionals can relate to my frustration when the work we are delivering in communities is referred to as ‘the fluffy stuff’. Thankfully, with the prevalence of governance such as PPN06/20, social value is now getting the prominence it deserves. But are we starting to take it seriously, and how much do we still need to do to motivate and enthuse others to join the movement as responsible and successful businesses?
Speaking in commercial terms, honest, achievable and impactful social value demonstrates that contractors are not ‘just about building’ anymore. Instead, we create jobs, upskill for the future, inspire the next generation and enhance the environment as we move towards Net Zero Carbon. These crucial aspects may well be the ‘tipping point’ on a tender, enabling us to ‘win work’ and develop a reputation that we are credible businesses with a social conscience, who care about the future of Wales and the prosperity of the communities that we work in.
I come from a background of community engagement and developing positive action programmes, and like all my social value colleagues I have a vested interest in the work that BAM does to enhance lives. Every achievement and outcome we create is incredibly important to me personally. Yet, until 5 years ago, I didn’t know that this role existed in the construction sector! Joining this industry has given me the opportunity to bring my enthusiasm and local knowledge to shape the delivery of social value within BAM and the wider construction sector. To achieve this it is vital that we collaborate, consult, influence and create ground-up approaches with not just our staff, but with our supply chain, partners, clients and key stakeholders.
Speaking honestly, it is not all plain sailing. As an industry, now more than ever we need a shared effort to embed culture, build excellence and establish best practice. This will allow every company, large or small to lead the way in social value delivery and truly invest in our communities and the future of Wales.
I am delighted that BAM Construct is sponsoring such an important event that brings a national network of like-minded people together to ‘lead the movement’. We cannot do this alone, our networks are incredibly valuable to us, especially as we look to take social value to the next level. That’s why it is so important to us that our workshops provide learning opportunities with tangible outcomes, ‘something that can be taken away’ and used to help others to join the movement and make a difference.
There are still challenges, but as we continue to drive social value, mobilise and improve understanding, we are changing perceptions. With each outcome, we deliver we are helping people to realise that social value is not just a ‘nice thing to do’ it’s a fundamental part of the way we do business and that as an industry we can be the ones who lead the movement…
About Jess Morgan
Jess became a Social Impact Manager at BAM Construct UK in 2020 and is responsible for the delivery of social value in our western region.
She has over 15-years’ experience in developing and delivering local and national social impact programmes across a number of sectors. Jess brings the right skills and knowledge to ensure we deliver meaningful and lasting social, economic and environmental outcomes for the communities in which we work. In partnership with CITB, Jess is Chair of the newly established Social Value Network, which is steadily growing in membership and provides a platform for large and small businesses to get together to share best practice, resources and innovation.
“I am excited about being a part of influencing a culture that truly understands social value and the positive impact that we can create. We cannot do this alone, so building a collaborative network of like-minded partners is key to achieving our shared goals”.