Kier Building Maintenance has been selected as the overall winner of the People Management Award 2008.
The building services division of the Kier Group was recognised for its delivery of an exceptional training programme aimed at improving the skills of young people and its own staff.
The award was announced at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Annual Conference’s Gala Dinner in Harrogate earlier this week.
The People Management Award is presented to the organisation demonstrating outstanding practice in people management and development.
The talent management scheme that made Kier stand out from competitors was its “City Stewardship” programme, the CIPD said.
The 26-week scheme was aimed at improving the prospects of young disaffected people by training and mentoring them on several community-based projects in Sheffield.
Kier staff supervised 16 to 18-year-olds in the implementation of a wide range of assignments, including maintaining gardens, carrying out environmental work, improving security in homes and house repairs.
Jackie Orme, CIPD chief executive, said: “This winning entry links the needs of young people considered to be at the fringes of society to the business needs at Kier.
The programme is exceptional as it shows how a corporate social responsibility practice can go hand in hand with the business objectives of an organisation.
'By improving the skills of young disaffected people, Kier not only gave the participants a chance to play a more active role in society, but also managed to fulfill its recruitment and talent development objectives.”
The programme’s effectiveness can be judged by its results. Two-thirds of the participants entered employment, mainstream education or training in the months after its completion, and 10 participants were also offered apprenticeships with Kier in 2007.
Kier also benefitted from the scheme by up-skilling its staff in conducting good practice training and mentoring, which in turn improved individual and team performance, as well as through being in a position to recruit well-trained apprentices.
Martin Rooney, Kier head of human resources, said: “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award. At Kier we have a dedicated team who want to make a real difference and provide opportunities for our youth.
'The success of the programme would not have been possible without our partners in the project: CTS Training, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Homes, South Yorkshire Police and the York Youth Offending Team.”