People Come First
In 2022, our partnership with Women in Construction expanded beyond Cambridge to East Anglia, London, and Bristol.
The launch of two new programmes to increase diversity in the business included the Hill Academy and our support of the Future of London’s Emerging Talent programme, assisting people from ethnic minority communities to begin their careers in housing, regeneration, and development.
ImageWomen Into Construction
Our three-year WiC partnership in Cambridge provided a 400% social return on every £1 invested.
This model has enabled our divisions to broaden their geographical reach and social value through the WiC regional community hubs across East Anglia, including Cambridge, and London, and in collaboration with our client the Guinness Partnership, a WiC programme has been launched in Bristol for the first time.
The Hill Academy is designed to open routes into the business for those who may not have the means, or desire, to achieve a degree qualification. This may include a career changer, such as a WiC candidate, the long-term unemployed or an ex-offender. The Academy programme includes a two-week work placement before moving into a site assistant role – we recruited five new staff during the year. Once their probation is completed, the candidates will study for their NVQ Level 4 Construction Site Supervisor apprenticeship.
ImageEmerging Talent Programme
Hill has supported the first cohort of the Future of London Talent programme, an inclusive, cross-sector group for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) entrants to the built environment sector, specifically in housing and regeneration. Each candidate is paid a salary in excess of the Real Living Wage and completes three placements with private and public sectors employers.
Aliya, our first placement started in January 2022, spent nine months with our development team at
St Ann’s, and then six-weeks on site at Wood Street in her local borough of Waltham Forest. Kinta, our second placement, joined us after a public sector placement, and worked on our Teviot project in Tower Hamlets before gaining a permanent role in local government.
When it was explained to me that I would be one of the first people to trial a new development scheme gaining an NVQ I knew this was an amazing opportunity for me to be able to gain more knowledge and experience within the construction industry. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that Hill have given me.
Communities and Customers
We have progressively reshaped our resident engagement offering and evolved our Social Value strategy to 2025 in support of our vision: “To be the UK’s leading, most trusted housebuilder, creating exceptional homes and sustainable communities”.
Post the COVID-19 pandemic, we reconvened school engagement and career events along with
individual and group work experience opportunities. These events enable us to engage with a comprehensive and diverse cohort of young people to promote the career opportunities we can offer in the built environment sector.
Community belonging is at the heart of Hill’s engagement and delivery plans, primarily achieved through local school and community fun days, events and projects. Importantly, our social value and community team provides a single point of contact for our stakeholders, ensuring our projects deliver reciprocal benefits for each invested party.
ImageBartholomew Sixth Form Work Experience
Our Westen region engaged with Bartholomew Sixth Form to provide 28 students with vital industry work experience. They attended a local Green Futures Conference which aligned with Hill's construction focussed Innovate to Renovate three-day classroom-based programme. The aim of the project was to think of innovative ways to improve the school site, to improve sustainability and effectiveness and even increase revenue and improve inclusivity.
The students interviewed the teachers and pupils to understand key issues requiring attention. They proceeded to sketch out design kieas and researched pices of material to estimate a project cost. They asked thir peers for itl feedback and then presented the ideas 0.3 panel of judges, including Hil representatives, the chair of Governors, and saft. In recogition of their werk, Staff undertook a volunteering day to support environmental intatves, at the nearby Long Mead plan: propagation
project. “Thank you sgain for runing the Innovate to Renovate project in school hs week: The students really responded welt the task set and the presentations were. ‘amazing, 50 thank you for inspiring therm to put 50 much time and effort into the programme” Linda Wiliams. Careers eat
ImageCollaborative Approach to Apprenticeships in Cambridge
We recognise the skills shortages in our industry and are committed to improving this through our delivery of successful 'earn as you learn' programmes. This is recognised through our Gold level membership of the 5% club for two consecutive years. During 2022, in collaboration with Cambridge City Council, K10 and our Supply chain, we supported 19 new apprentices in our businesses. The trades included essential disciplines, such as brickwork, carpentry, electrics, dry lining, groundwork, painting and decorating and plumbing.
Each apprentice benefits from an onsite mentor and training support through Adam Sapey and Peter Banister at K10, and the initial cohort will complete their qualifications in summer 2023 and progress into employment on Hill Sites. The apprentices have provided positive feedback of their experience and the support provided, in particular when they have been moved to different projects to ensure they are gaining the full range of experience to complete training portfolio requirements.
ImageThe Teviot Estate - Delivering a scheme for residents
Working closely with Poplar HARCA, the residents of Teviot have been fully engaged in the regeneration of their neighbourhood since 2017. A listening campaign gained a snapshot of their interest, support, and priorities and some 80% of the residents consulted voted in support of development. Our understanding of the importance of maintaining resident engagement throughout the lifespan of the project is imperative. A timeline of activities was developed in partnership with the local community to gain vital input from the resident steering Group (RSG) that had been established. These activities included:
- Walkabouts - visits to other established large-scale regeneration schemes to identify the features, spaces and amenities that residents liked or disliked and to bring back ideas to the design sessions
- Topic-specific workshops - informative sessions focusing on certain areas for resident engagement, including social Value, setting the scene, sustainably and energy transition pathways
- Co-design sessions - looking at different areas of the design of the scheme, allowing residents o table their suggestions and desires, and working with the design team to potentially incorporate these ideas into the masterplan.
The establishment of a social value resident steering group (SVRSG) has provided platform for residents to maintain theiringut into the social value deivery programme and to hold Hill accountable.
In response to the homelessness crisis, in 2019, we launched Foundation 200, a £15m pledge to gift
200 SoloHaus homes to charities working in homelessness.
In addition to the original Foundation 200 pledge, we have installed SoloHaus homes as a turn-key
affordable housing solution for local authorities around the country. In Cornwall, Hill has developed a long-term strategic partnership with Cornwall Council to supply SoloHaus homes through an independent delivery programme, supported by local contractors.