Abbey Reid presents on UK Social Value at Czech Republic Conference

Abbey Reid, Communications Manager for Taylor Woodrow, was recently invited to present at a conference on Responsible Procurement in the Construction Sector. The conference was held by the Czech Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs at the Ministry of Transport in Prague.

Abbey was representing Taylor Woodrow and UK construction market to give conference participants a view of practice outside the Czech Republic. She presented to over 100 attendees ranging from large contractors to the State Secretary on Taylor Woodrows experience in delivering social value within contracts, drawing on an example of the Engineering Education Scheme delivered on Crossrail West Stations.

Later that afternoon, Abbey then led a seminar for around 30 people looking at some more practical examples and providing detail on tendering process, collaborative relationships and value added engineering in terms of sustainable improvements.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 has helped bring social sustainability requirements to the table in the UK, although we still have a long way to go. However, the support from legislation and the way in which we set up construction contracts means that we are currently more advanced in responsible procurement than in the Czech Republic.

Abbey was one of two presenters from the UK, Shaun McCarthy from Action Sustainability also delivered a presentation to give more of a general overview of social value. The audience were particularly interested in the practical examples given by both Shaun and Abbey to see how social value requirements can really work from tender through to delivery.

Quote: It was fascinating to understand the different perspectives on social value and it gave me a real appreciation of what we are doing already in the UK. There are some real barriers that need to be overcome in the Czech Republic before they will see meaningful social value delivered within construction. Mainly that contracts are awarded based purely on lowest price, and there is no mechanism to support value over cost.