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Social value- it's personal.

In our article on ‘Measuring and maximising the social value of major infrastructure programmes’ we talk about the importance of capturing the qualitative, human stories and reporting these in context to keep social value efforts focused on improving people’s lives, not statistics, as quantitative measures and reporting mechanisms evolve. Here we look at some of the personal stories of those who benefit from the social value efforts of companies delivering major projects.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a £3.8 billion, 25 kilometre super sewer being built under the River Thames from the London Borough of Ealing in the west, to the London Borough of Newham in the east. One in 50 of the 4,000 jobs the Thames Tideway Tunnel project will create will be an apprenticeship. The company responsible for the project, Tideway, has put legacy and social impact at the heart of its work.

Jeremy Galpin, Costain’s Lead Consultant for social value and Legacy Lead for the East section being delivered by Costain in joint venture with VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche, says: ‘We’re building this tunnel to help clean up the River Thames but we’re also supporting people who live in the boroughs where we’re working, including by opening up employment opportunities and doors to careers in construction. So far, we’ve welcomed 50 local people into various roles and of our 32 new apprentices 62% were from the local area.’

Meet two of the apprentices welcomed on the Tideway project

Kingsley Owusu-Ware - Apprentice Digital Engineer

What have you learned at Tideway?

As an apprentice, I have been trained in creating 2D to 3D drawings that the wider construction team can use out on site to enable them to work more effectively. I have been able to gain a deeper understanding of how important collaboration is throughout the project. No day is the same as the last, and I benefit from being surrounded by a multitude of professionals.


What have you enjoyed about being at Tideway?

Being able to work on such an innovative project as Tideway has been a thrilling and challenging experience. I have had the pleasure to work with various teams that all play an important role in delivering this vital project. My team has recently been using a 4D software to create models of our construction sites, allowing us to analyse and manage our works.


What are your aspirations for the future?

I am on track to complete my Level 3 Digital Engineering apprenticeship and personal objectives. At the end of my apprenticeship, I will have qualifications in BTEC Level 3 Construction and Built Environment, an NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Built Environment Design and an EngTech qualification, making me a qualified technician. My next step is to complete a degree apprenticeship when I will aspire to become chartered.1


Sanna Shabir, Apprentice Site Engineer

What have you learned at Tideway?

Transitioning from a design office onto a construction site has been a great experience! I have gained so much knowledge and I learn something new every day. I have learnt a lot about constructability, including ensuring the safety and quality of our work to deliver the project on time. My skills are developing rapidly as I work with experienced professionals, combining university theory with real-life situations in the workplace.

What have you enjoyed about being at Tideway?

Working at Tideway for the past six months has been the best experience ever! As an Apprentice Site Engineer, I have a fantastic opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives. My role involves assisting site operations, meaning that at the end of each day, I see the progress on site and the targets the team has met, which brings a huge sense of pride that I am working alongside great professionals within the construction industry.

What are your aspirations for the future?

Working towards my IEng Accreditation with the ICE while studying for my degree in Civil Engineering. Once I complete my masters, I want to obtain chartership. I also want to gain project management experience and help inspire the next generation into a career in engineering and construction!2

If you’d like to speak to one of our experts to understand how you can maximise the social value on your project, please contact [email protected]


1 Courtesy of Tideway communications

2 Courtesy of Tideway communications



Measuring and maximising the social value of major infrastructure programmes