OX Place exists to advance the interests of the people of Oxford. Primarily, this is in the provision of beautiful, sustainable, affordable homes, but our commitment goes beyond that. We’re building communities.
For each development, we are dedicated to maximising the social value and making sure the money we’re spending works as hard as possible for the communities we’re creating.
We’re working with our developers to create work and training opportunities for local people, particularly those who might struggle to find employment opportunities elsewhere.
At Mill Lane, for example, we have a social value contract with our developers, with quarterly social value update reports included as part of the contract.
The contract includes the creation of four apprenticeship posts, two site-based 10-week work placements, eight career advice sessions in local schools and additional employment support for disadvantaged groups.
Our partnership with Wilmott Dixon has been key to realising our aspirations for employment for local people. Through the Building Lives Academy, we have been able to provide work opportunities for 28 people with an OX post code and get 15 people into employment.
Many of these are entry level positions and are designed to target those people who have been out of the workforce for one reason or another.
In one instance, a period of work experience for a young person has led to the offer of a technical apprenticeship that will give that person the skills and qualifications they need to become a site manager. The work placement element of their apprenticeship is with Wilmott Dixon and involves them spending time with every element of the business to understand how their role is impacted by and impacts others.
Another element of the programme involves working with Springhill Prison to support release on temporary licence. Many of the people who join Wilmott Dixon on this scheme have already worked in the industry and are skilled tradespeople. The aim is to maintain the relationships and provide employment as they are released from prison.