Bouygues UK’s Business Growth and Social Value Director Leigh Hughes has been awarded Highly Commended at the IoD Wales’ Director of the Year Awards.
The awards, which were held at the International Conference Centre at the Celtic Manor Resort, celebrate leadership talent, success, and highlights business excellence and significant contributions leaders can make to the social and economic prosperity in the community.
Leigh achieved recognition for his work in helping Bouygues UK achieve its mission to deliver a sustainable built environment and demonstrate its social, economic and environmental commitment to support the communities it works in.
Social value is a major strategic priority for Bouygues Construction UK and Leigh, who is also the Welsh chair of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Chair of the Employment and Skills Board and a member of the Economic Growth Partnership at the Cardiff Capital Region, has helped implement many social value initiatives around the UK.
Bouygues UK has introduced many education construction initiatives, such as GoConstruct Education – a collaboration between industry and education partners to include construction resources into the Welsh school curriculum in a bid to get more youngsters considering a future career in construction. Bouygues UK also imbeds social value into every project it works on, such as Cardiff University’s Cardiff Innovation Campus which has so far provided nearly 190 weeks of work experience for local people, supported 3,099 apprenticeship weeks, created 545 local jobs and spent more than £74million in the local economy from the project.
Leigh also spearheaded Bouygues UK’s sponsorship of the Wizard’s League in schools in Port Talbot to increase sports participation and health and wellbeing in students – a partnership which has now been going for six years. During the pandemic, Bouygues UK shifted its CSR and ESG focus to focus on people, particularly its student and community ambassador schemes around the UK, as well as supporting those most in need to deliver maximum benefit. It also targeted its social value activities around social groups who were disproportionately affected by the pandemic, this included donating PPE to health care workers and the vulnerable and working with young people with little or no qualifications to help them into work, such as gifting laptops and desktop computers.
Leigh, who has worked at Bouygues UK for 11 years, said of the award: “It’s an honour to be Highly Commended for Corporate Social Responsibility at the IoD Wales awards. Social value is in the DNA of Bouygues UK and is a major driver and priority for us as a business and an integral part of what we do. To be even named a finalist, never mind be highly commended in this category was such an honour. It is great to be able to fly the flag for construction in Wales in this area and show how innovative and committed we as an industry are to social value.
“Bouygues UK has a highly skilled workforce, working on some of the most exciting building projects in the country, but we never stop in trying to increase the social and economic benefits we make on these projects and these communities we work in, as well as imparting the knowledge, excellence and skills we have to others.”
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