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Newham highways contractor gets major RoSPA ‘Gold’ safety award

16:40 20 May 2014

FM Conway highways contractors on site in east London

FM Conway highways contractors on site in east London

FM Conway

A highways contractor for a local authority in east London has won an award for public safety in the week it has announced placing 26 unemployed people into jobs.

FM Conway's Andrew CoxFM Conway's Andrew Cox

Contractors FM Conway are being given a Gold award by RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, at a ceremony at east London’s ExCeL on June 17, its third consecutive yearly award.

Judges considered factors such as workforce involvement in which staff are “given the tools” to protect their own and public safety, working for the London Borough of Newham.

The company’s Andrew Cox said: “Safety is at the heart of our business. We listen to feedback — ultimately it’s about safeguarding our staff and the communities they work in.”

The award comes in the week the infrastructure company’s partnership with Workplace, the Newham organisation matching people’s skills with vacancies, announced 26 people getting jobs on large highways projects.

Workplace identified in February those who had the skills—but no jobs to put them to use. Now all 26 have begun work.

One of them is Usman Ahmed, a 23-year-old University of East London graduate from Manor Park, who joined FM Conway’s highways maintenance team as a trainee supervisor.

“Finding a job straight out of university without construction experience was challenging,” he said.

“But the Workplace scheme helped me find work that fits my skills and limited experience. Now I’m getting practical on-the-job experience and have been on training courses to help work towards running my own sites.”

Workplace, which was set up by Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales in 2007, has put 20,000 people into jobs so far.

Sir Robin said: “I’m keen to see all our suppliers leave Newham a lasting legacy of jobs and training.”

He wants services that the Town Hall procures from contractors like FM Conway to offer “wider social benefits” such as long-term sustainable jobs.

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