“Scottish businesses must be motivated by more than the financial bottom line if they are to help build a fairer and greener Scotland.”
This is the conclusion of the report “Better Business” that has been released by Social Value Lab on business practices in Scotland. The research set out to answer the following questions and explore the barriers so many businesses face in changing the corporate behaviour:
The results were very encouraging, showing that there is an appetite from Scottish businesses to play a role in creating a fairer and greener Scotland. Some of the most promising responses include 85% of businesses reporting that community, social and environmental issues as either ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ important to them and nine in ten companies (89%) felt they were delivering on their social and environmental responsibilities.
However, it also found barriers that business face, including pressures caused by business size with just 15% of small companies reported to fully support employee volunteering, 22% among mid-sized companies and a huge gap to 51% among large companies. There was also a clear issue with equality for women with, only 13% of all board posts held by women and over half (56%) of the firms with none at all. Just 4% of CEOs are women.
This report is hugely important to us at Forster Group, not only because we try to lead by example in environmental and social responsibility, but we also strive to see this culture extend out into our industry and wider community. We began in the construction industry 26 years ago, and since taking on our first trainee in 1990, we haven’t stopped seeing the value in investing in the workforce of the future.
We invested in our business early, building lasting relationships from the beginning with local schools and colleges, we have collaborated on many initiatives to invest in new skills for young people. In 2014 this eventually led to the creation of our Forster Skills Academy, a custom-designed training centre delivering innovative Modern Apprenticeship qualifications for people looking to learn a trade in roofing. We have so far taken on 12 new apprentices and will continue to take on a further 12 into 2016.
Investing in our people has served us well for the future, ensuring an injection of new ideas and fresh thinking in the business, the development of a pipeline of talent, as well as improved capacity to react to customer demand. Last year we were accredited as one of the first wave of Investors in Young People employers in Scotland and 32% of our workforce are aged under 25 years old.
Our people are our business, so working innovatively, collaboratively and investing in the future of our industry are key to staying one step ahead and the continued success of any business.
With the looming subsidy changes due to be announced, discussing the future of solar in Scotland will be hugely important to those involved in the renewable industry. We are going to be looking at when and how renewable energy technologies will become part of everyday building and the issues the industry will face.
If you’re unable to make the panel discussion, our team will also be on-site at stand E39, showcasing the benefits of the Forster (integrated) roof and solar solution.
For more information contact us.
01356 628 560 • email@example.com
We are delighted to have picked up the ‘Solar’ award at the National Federation Roofing Contractor’s (NFRC) annual Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year Awards, for integrated roofing and solar works at Bellway Homes’, Cowdenbeath development.
Our project was recognised by the judges for its pioneering approach to integrating traditional roof tiling with in-roof solar Photovoltaic (PV) installation services at the 49 plot social housing development. The electricity generated by each solar array is being fed directly into tenant’s homes, reducing their requirement to buy in electricity from the grid, thereby empowering them to take greater control of their energy bills.
Forster Technical Manager, Alan Collins collected the award at a special luncheon hosted by BBC Scotland News presenter and reporter, Catriona Shearer at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow. The award is Forster’s seventh Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year Award in six years, with previous award winning projects including the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, Fife Housing Innovation Showcase and Barratt Homes Evolution development in Aberdeen.
Forster Roofing Managing Director Steve Scott said: “We are delighted to pick up this award as it highlights the industry’s recognition of the huge benefits created by combining solar with roofing works. We are seeing demand for our integrated roofing and solar offer grow, as more and more developers recognise solar as a key measure in achieving the latest stepped change in the Scottish Low Carbon Building Standards. We envisage a not too distant future where solar PV will be installed on every new build home.”
The NFRC Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year awards recognise and reward outstanding standards of workmanship and technical expertise in the roofing industry within Scotland.
As Forster prepare to celebrate 25-years of roofing Scottish homes, the market leading roofing and solar services provider is also embracing a new modern website, which brings together the company’s core roofing and energy businesses into a single site.
The site provides information for house builders, public sector and community bodies, social housing landlords, farmers and commercial landlords and tenants interested in finding out about the exciting benefits of installing solar. Visitors to the site can browse through case studies, showcasing the companies work for existing clients in these sectors, search and apply for jobs as well as stay up-to-date with the businesses activities and industry news.
“As we prepare to celebrate a significant landmark in our history, it’s a great time to be launching a new, modern website, which reflects our passionate and aspirational approach.. The new site communicates our commitment to delivering excellence in every area of our business” explained Marketing Executive, Peter Barrow. “It is a central tool in communicating the key benefits of solar as well as our core service offerings, particularly our integrated solar roofing service.”
Denvir Marketing, the agency which project managed the development of the site, said it was an exciting time for Forster Group and Denvir Marketing. Charlotte Jordan, Marketing Manager at Denvir Marketing, said:
“This fresh, clean and contemporary website reflects Forster Group’s energy, drive and enthusiasm for solar and roofing. The advances being made in the solar industry are phenomenal and we feel this new website will enable Forster Group to maintain its position as the number one roofing, solar and integrated solar business in Scotland.”
Scotland’s leading roofing and roof-integrated solar contractor, Forster Roofing, has launched its own in-house Skills Academy to train the next generation and directly tackle the challenge faced by the construction industry’s skills shortage.
Forster Roofing, which is responsible for roofing one in five of Scotland’s new homes and is widely recognised for its commitment to developing young people, has recently invested in a new custom designed Skills Academy, which was opened to the first group of apprentices last month.
The Forster Academy, which is located in Brechin, Angus, is delivering a Modern Apprenticeship (NVQ) qualification in roofing, designed specifically for new-build housing. The two year integrated training programme supported by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council (SBATC), combines on the job structured learning with contextualised off-site training.
“We are directly addressing the acute skills shortage in the construction industry by recruiting new entrants, up-skilling and qualifying our existing workforce,” explained Forster Group Chairman, John Forster.
“We recognise that our future success is dependent on investing in the skills of both our current and potential future employees. Next month we will be celebrating 25 years of delivering our roofing service to the Scottish house build market, and we see our new Skills Academy as a key part of our future.”
Forster Human Resources Director, Maureen Douglas said,
“We are committed to taking on 24 apprentices over the next four years and are also preparing to launch a new specialist up-skilling programme which will re-qualify our entire workforce of 80 roofers to the ‘Forster Standard’.”
“The Forster apprenticeship programme works well because it covers such a wide range of roofing skills, including solar installation,” said Mark Murphy from Irvine, one of the current group of apprentices. “It trains us to deliver to the ‘Forster Standard’, giving us confidence that we’re working the smartest way.”
“It helps us become comfortable working with different products, preparing us to deal with the challenges we will face on-site,” added another apprentice, Jordan Boyle from Falkirk. “We also get to learn about other areas of the business including Purchasing and Surveying, helping us understand how projects come together.”
Forster Trainer, Lindsay Kemp has been roofing Scottish homes for over 25 years. “This new programme provides a fantastic opportunity for young people, equipping them with the necessary skills to make a successful career in roofing,” he commented. “I’m really enjoying the opportunity to train the next generation, driving forward industry quality and safety standards.”
Committed to excellence, Forster continues to lead the way in driving up standards of best practice in roofing. Construction Director Neil McIvor said: “We have developed our own ‘Forster Standard’. By wrapping up all the various industry standards and best practices into a single document, we have established a benchmark for all our roofs, setting the quality standard for our industry.”