Blog: People Development SECBE Awards 2019 finalist - Galliford Try

30 May 2019

Sponsored by Cheesmur Building Contractors

*** HIGHLY COMMENDED *** Galliford Try Building Southern (part of Galliford Try)

Within the construction industry, there has been a decrease in the number of skilled construction professionals, resulting in a large skills gap. Galliford Try has been keen to ‘bridge the gap’ by encouraging new talent and upskilling their current workforce, recognising people as the foundation to every great business and motivating them to consider Galliford Try as the employer of choice.

At Galliford Try Building Southern, their vision is: “we recognise that the good health and wellbeing of our people impacts upon the sustainable success of our organisation and we will strive to improve and enhance whole person wellbeing and resilience.”  Their approach to wellbeing is based on five key areas: take notice; be active; give back; stay connected and keep learning.

Galliford Try’s high level objectives for implementation of the strategy are:

  • To decrease sickness absence levels and improve employee retention
  • To introduce smarter, more agile ways of working to improve work-life balance and productivity
  • To improve utilisation of the Employee Assistance Programme and Occupational Health Service
  • To ‘Start the Conversation’ pertaining to mental health and introduce an awareness programme
  • To raise the profile of lifestyle choices that improve health and wellbeing

As a business, they want to continue to build upon inclusiveness, so they employ agile working policies that embed that culture and improve their ability to attract and retain the best people from more diverse talent pools. It reinforces that they value difference and support those with commitments outside of work. It also puts the focus on outputs and what is being delivered rather than the hours spent at a desk. Their smart working policy embraces the revolution of technology. The aim of this policy is to re-assess, for example, whether they need to travel to that meeting that will take three hours out of a day or whether to do it online. This in turn will result in less time on the road and more time at home and more time for a productive work day, as well as driving down carbon emissions and fuel costs.

As a part of their Corporate Responsibility Strategy, they offer work experience, apprenticeships and curriculum support activities where they engage with hard-to-reach target groups to showcase the different full-time and part-time paths available. For example, they offer apprenticeships up to level seven, which is equivalent to a degree. Galliford Try Building Southern believes in people development. They provide sustainable opportunities by delivering quality placements over quantity. One example of this an Assistant Site manager who undertook an apprenticeship 4 years ago, completed his apprenticeship and successfully completed their Trainee Management programme, which culminated in a promotion. This individual has been shortlisted for ‘Galliford Try Building Southern’s Trainee Manager of the year’.

An inclusive employer, they also support national campaigns such as #NOTJUSTFORBOYS and ‘Women into Construction’ to alleviate some of the stigma attached to the lack of diversity in the construction industry.


  • 4.6 days average training per employee
  • Investment: in 2017-2018 equivalent cost of training equated to £66,992 for their existing employees (excluding apprenticeship and trainee programmes). In the same year, £282,609 was spent on the next generation through apprenticeships and training programmes
  • £4m added value delivered to communities via ESPs on their Southern Construction Framework projects.

For more details:

Visit Galliford Try

The SECBE 2019 People Development Award is sponsored by Cheesmur.

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