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Cheshire-based Cruden wins a David and Goliath fight for excellence.

The mutual respect that North West contractor Cruden Group has for its workforce and the communities in which it operates has been recognised by the construction industry nationally, in its winning of a prestigious award.

The Warrington-based group pipped its previous winning of the regional 2012 Leadership and People Development Award by adding the national honour to its trophy cabinet at the recent National Constructing Excellence Awards.

The judges had looked for the organisation that had shown the greatest respect to its workforce and communities, while simultaneously winning respect from them through workforce development, skills and training, benchmarking, equality and diversity, and improvements to the working environment. 

And Cruden's Escalate training, development and community engagement initiative ticked all the boxes, and then some, over much larger construction firms.

Escalate is centered on five core areas. It offers “On the job” vocational and apprenticeship training; sponsored study towards professional memberships, degrees, diplomas and higher education; awareness (compulsory training for all staff in health, safety, environment, equality and diversity); leadership and mentoring (senior management working with employees to pass on best practice and support development to create the next generation of Cruden leaders) and community (a unique volunteering scheme giving staff five paid days per year to support community volunteering projects arranged and delivered by Cruden). 

The company claims the Escalate programme is unique, in that it is not only a successful development tool for talent but highlights its shared culture based on genuine respect for people. It engages its clients, supply chain and local community to ensure its operations have a positive impact.

Cruden's latest award was sponsored by London Heathrow Airports and received in front of more than 430 industry guests at the Tower Hotel in London.

The Centre for Construction Innovation's operations director Roy Stewart commented: "I am delighted the North West has once again done very well at this year's Constructing Excellence National Awards.  Pride of place goes to Cruden Group for winning the national Leadership and People Development Award.”

Cruden's marketing director David Dickie, recognizing the importance of the award for a regional construction business, said: “The calibre and range of entries that Cruden Group competed with to win this accolade is testament to our ability to innovate.

“Larger firms don't have a monopoly on good ideas and our resolve to offer a fulfilling career to our people through the Escalate development programme demonstrates that regional contractors such as Cruden Group can be leaders in revitalizing and prioritising skills development.”

Since 2010, Cruden has invested 1,450 volunteering hours, ran and supported over 100 fundraising and community activities, invested over £25,000 in donations and materials to projects, local charities, housing associations and community groups, and engaged 280 Cruden employee and supply chain volunteers in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.


Pictured from left: Barry Curran, community ambassador; Michelle Swarbrick, HR and training manager; David Dickie, marketing director; Emma Jayne Brown, senior marketing officer; Mark Burns, managing director, Cruden Small Works.

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