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Curtins named as one of the UK’s best companies to work for

Date: 21st February 2019

Curtins named as one of the UK’s best companies to work for

We’re delighted that for a fourth year in a row, we have been named as one of the best companies to work for in the UK in a leading workplace study published by the Sunday Times.

The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For List is one of the most credible and high-profile compilations of its type in the UK, and to be included once again is excellent.

Released annually, the list remains the most respected and accurate engagement survey in the UK. It recognises the organisations who go above and beyond to boost employee engagement and create an exceptional, inspiring culture. The list is compiled using data gathered through employee surveys, the results of which are meticulously analysed to uncover how employees feel and, more importantly, why they feel that way.

CEO, Rob Melling comments, “I am so very proud that Curtins has been listed in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work for.

“Helping our staff to achieve the right work/life balance, whilst providing suitable training and development opportunities to help them fulfil their potential, is fundamental to how we come together as a successful business.

“We want them to know that they are part of a business that listens and responds to them, and aims to support not only their professional development, but their families and home life during their career with us. From structured training programmes such as Step Ahead, through company lodges which are free to all staff to use, to enhanced maternity and paternity benefits, we are shaping the future of Curtins through our dedication to people.

“Everyone in our team should be proud of achievement and their contributions to our vibrant and cohesive workplace.”

We celebrated this achievement just days after discovering that we had also been awarded Investors in People Platinum accreditation. The IIP Platinum accreditation is the highest accolade that can be achieved against the Investors in People Standard and is currently held by fewer than 1% of IIP accredited organisations.

We are immensely proud to be recognised, once again, for our commitment to staff engagement, welfare and development.

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Curtins’ team culture is recognised with Investors in People Platinum award

Date: 21st February 2019

Curtins’ team culture is recognised with Investors in People Platinum award

We are exceptionally proud to announce that this year we have been awarded Investors in People Platinum in recognition of an outstanding commitment to staff welfare and people management.

We first received Investors in People Accreditation in 2006, achieving the entry level of the National Standard. Since then, we have worked our way up from the standard accreditation through to Gold in 2015, demonstrating our advancing commitment to the professional development of our people.

The IIP Platinum accreditation is the highest accolade that can be achieved against the Investors in People Standard and is currently held by fewer than 1% of IIP accredited organisations.

Investors in People has been the international standard for people management since 1991, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve sustainable results. Underpinning the Standard is the Investors in People framework, reflecting the latest workplace trends, essential skills and effective structures required to outperform in any industry.

Our IIP Platinum report detailed that, “It was clearly evident that the organisation has an identity and ethos that shapes both its business strategy and its approach to managing people. The overriding theme to emerge from the assessment was a strong, collective desire to ‘preserve the DNA’ of the organisation. This was reflected in:

  • an enduring philosophy of sharing knowledge and supporting staff to reach their full potential
  • a strong focus on displaying integrity in all aspects of the business
  • leaders creating the conditions whereby staff feel empowered, motivated and valued
  • a continuing focus on delivering technical excellence and innovation
  • a strong commitment to engaging with and supporting local communities
  • a managed approach to ‘passing on the baton’ through leadership continuity and succession planning.”

Rob Melling, Chief Executive commented, “Curtins is absolutely delighted to have been awarded the prestigious Investors in People Platinum accreditation.

“Our commitment to the professional development of our staff has evolved over time to include apprenticeships, Curtins Academy, reverse mentoring and our new Step Ahead programme for senior members of staff. Wellbeing is also at the heart of how we operate – from staff having their birthdays off to being able to holiday in one of our four holiday lodges for free, we make sure our people come first.

“We are continually looking at ways to create sustainable success, inspire and empower our people and reward performance. The Platinum accreditation is testament to our dedication to these goals.”

Curtins was awarded IIP Platinum on 20 February 2019. For more information about Investors in People please visit www.investorsinpeople.com.

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Curtins pledges to help the smash the ‘class ceiling’

Date: 20th February 2019

Curtins pledges to help the smash the ‘class ceiling’

The first major grassroots study in Britain showed that many workers believe that where they come from holds them back and that their industry is dominated by class divide; and only one in eight children from low-income backgrounds are likely to progress to become a high-earner as an adult. These are alarming findings.

Our founder believed in creating opportunities for everyone, especially young people, and his belief still resonates with us today. That is why we’re delighted to have signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge. Through the work with our STEM Ambassadors and Teacher Placements, and our programme of work experience and apprenticeships, we are already endeavouring accelerate the rate of change.

The Pledge is a commitment for us to follow these three straightforward but powerful steps:

Partnership

We will build on our partnerships with schools and colleges to provide coaching through quality careers advice, enrichment experience and/or mentoring to people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances.

Access

We will continue to provide structured work experience and apprenticeship opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances.

Recruitment

We will ensure our employee recruitment practices are open and remain a level playing field for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances.

We look forward to the working with the Social Mobility Pledge to create equal opportunity for all.

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Curtins moves to larger premises on Pembroke Lane in Dublin

Date: 20th February 2019

Curtins moves to larger premises on Pembroke Lane in Dublin

Following several years of planning, in September 2016 we opened our first office outside of the UK, providing a local presence in the Irish capital, Dublin.

The office started out as a small team in a shared central Dublin building. Since then we have developed a portfolio of major projects across Ireland. With a growing workload, we have moved to our own office premises on Pembroke Lane to accommodate a larger team.

Chief Executive, Rob Melling commented, “The office in Dublin has allowed us to serve existing clients working in the Irish market and provide employment opportunities for Irish staff in other offices who expressed desire to move home.

“I’m pleased to now share the news of our office expansion. It’s an excellent development for all of us here at Curtins, which will facilitate the continued growth of our business in Ireland.”

From the new premises, we can offer our full complement of services including Civils & Structures, Transport Planning, Environmental, Infrastructure, Geotechnical, Conservation & Heritage and Principal Designer.

The new office location at 11 Pembroke Lane, Dublin 2, D02 CX82 is less than 5 minutes from the team’s previous spot on Fitzwilliam Square.

The office is led by Technical Director, Diarmuid Healy who returned to Ireland to open the first Dublin office, having spent 7 years with Curtins in London. Supported by the technical expertise of our 13 other UK offices, Healy and his team have delivered major schemes in Ireland including projects with Centre Parcs, University College Cork, a housing framework with Dublin City Council and a high profile 21,000-seater stadium in Navan.

Diarmuid Healy commented, “Since we opened in 2016, Curtins has successfully developed strong working-relationships with a number of leading architects, developers, local authorities and contractors. We’re pleased to have seen these lead to some really exciting projects for us, from large scale complex new-builds to small bespoke refurbishments.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to build close relationships with our clients and contributing to a diverse range projects from our new office on Pembroke Lane.”

Contact the Dublin office here.

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Students from Leeds East Academy design a new service station

Date: 19th February 2019

Students from Leeds East Academy design a new service station

On 12 February, Andy Saville, Associate in our Leeds office took part in a student design workshop at Leeds East Academy, in conjunction with Ahead Partnership and our involvement at the Leeds Skelton Lakes Service Station.

60 year 10 students from Leeds East Academy were set a business brief to design a service station to suit the Leeds Skelton Lakes site. The students were split into groups of 6, with 2 members of each team taking part in one of three workshops (build, environmental and community considerations). The teams then regrouped and developed their ideas before discussing their scheme with the industrial mentors. 3 outstanding solutions were chosen to present their scheme to the rest of the students and to a panel of judges, where one was chosen to be the overall winner.

The students produced some excellent designs, with very well thought out content. They showed a real focus on sustainability with ideas such as photovoltaic walls, wind turbines and even a hydroelectric plant constructed on Wyke Beck. Benefits to the community also featured heavily in the designs with ideas ranging from a water sports centre and aquarium on Skelton Lake to a community centre with counselling facilities and peace garden.

The judges were especially impressed with the way that the winning team had clearly defined roles, with each member being responsible for a particular aspect of the scheme and every team member equally contributing to a very well detailed presentation.

This is the third workshop we’ve taken part in with Ahead Partnership this year, and we’re looking forward to supporting further activities with them in 2019.

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Helping to inspire the next generation of Engineers

Date: 6th February 2019

Helping to inspire the next generation of Engineers

Our founder, Bill Curtin believed that young people were the future of Curtins and engineering. His belief still resonates with us today, at a time when the industry is struggling to find sufficient new talent to fill the STEM skills gap. To inspire the next generation to pursue careers in engineering, our Liverpool office has been delighted to welcome a teacher placement from Upton Girls School for the past 5 weeks. Art and Design teacher, Shelagh McNicholas has been spending time with our team to not only find out what career opportunities are available in the industry, but to also advise Curtins on how we can better support STEM activity in schools.

During the 5 placement days, we have introduced the principals of engineering, structural modelling, CAD design, civils and infrastructure, as well as our current ongoing projects. In addition, Shelagh spent time with our non-technical teams including Learning & Development, HR and Marketing for a broader understanding of the types of roles available in the Engineering industry. We hope that the skills Shelagh has learnt during the placement will have been both beneficial to her personal development and to the promotion of STEM careers in schools. Giving teachers the information and confidence to talk about STEM careers will go some way to inspiring the future CEOs of Curtins to enter into rewarding careers in engineering.

For a first-hand account of Shelagh’s placement, including her key learning and advice to us, you can read her blog by clicking here.

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Marie Curie nominated as the Curtins Care Charity 2019

Date: 4th February 2019

Marie Curie nominated as the Curtins Care Charity 2019

Every year, our staff select a worthy charity of the year to support. Over time, we have supported more than 25 charities and made a measurable impact towards positive change. In 2018, we more than doubled our target figure for British Heart Foundation by raising a total of £24,234.90.

For 2019, we are proudly supporting Marie Curie, who carry out invaluable work supporting and caring for families living with a terminal illness.

Marie Curie’s vision is for a better life for people and their families living with a terminal illness. Their Nurses care for people in their home, when they need them most, day or night. They have nine hospices across the UK in Liverpool, London, Solihull, Cardiff, Bradford, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast, providing round-the-clock, specialist care at the heart of communities. Last year, they provided support for more than 50,000 people across the UK.

We hope that our fundraising activities in 2019 can go some way to helping Marie Curie look after people across the UK.

Visit Marie Curie’s website at www.mariecurie.org.uk for more information.

More about our Corporate Social Responsibility here.

#CurtinsCare

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Marking LGBT History Month with the #BuildingEquality Network

Date: 1st February 2019

Marking LGBT History Month with the #BuildingEquality Network

It’s LGBT History Month which is celebrated around the world to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public. According to Stonewall, Engineering has one of the lowest rates of LGBT+ workforce in the UK. This situation is significantly more challenging for LGBT+ women since the sector is also dominated by males.

This year we will be involved in two events in Leeds as part of the #buildingequality network, with the aims of advancing towards a more inclusive and diverse industry.

On Wednesday 6th February, Building Equality and Arup and will co-host ‘Building the Future’, a networking event at the Leeds Civic Hall to celebrate and reflect on diversity and inclusion in the construction industry. Amanda McKay, Major Projects Quality Director at Balfour Beatty and trans role model, will be the key note speaker for the night and we will be joined by guests from across the construction industry and associated professions, as well as the Lord Mayor and members of Leeds City Council.

On Thursday 7th February, Building Equality and Arup are co-sponsoring ‘OUTing The Past’ at the Leeds City Museum. The event includes a series of performances and conferences.

If you would like to attend either of these free events as our guests, we would be delighted! Please send contact us here.

#lgbthistorymonth #buildingequality #successforall

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Construction begins on £19m Lancaster University expansion

Date: 29th January 2019

Construction begins on £19m Lancaster University expansion

We have worked with Lancaster University for many years, frequently contributing to their projects at various stages as part of our place on their framework. Currently we are working on projects ranging from under £200k to over £18m.

We’re pleased to see that one of our latest projects with them, an £18.8m extension to the University’s Management School, has now started on site. The building is due to be completed for the 2020/21 academic year.

Working alongside Architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Curtins has developed the civil and structural detailed design through to tender stage for the 61,000 sq ft building. Known as the West Pavilion, the new 5-story facility will include three lecture theatres, collaboration space, a reception, multiple offices and an executive teaching suite.

We look forward to seeing the new facilities opened next year.

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It’s ‘Curtins’ for heart and circulatory disease

Date: 28th January 2019

It’s ‘Curtins’ for heart and circulatory disease

We’re so pleased to announce that our dedicated team has raised an incredible £25,000 for the British Heart Foundation, our 2018 Charity of the Year.

British Heart Foundation was selected by our staff as the nominated charity for Curtins Care, an in-house initiate to enrich the lives of families, individuals and communities through charitable giving and fundraising. We’ve smashed our ambitious £10,000 target, with our hard-working colleagues raising more than double the planned total.

Curtins’ charitable aim, acting as a front-line ambassador within the engineering sector, is to focus on those less fortunate and to build bridges between cultures and communities, creating a better environment for all.

In 2018, staff across the country took part in a whole range of fundraising activities including endurance challenges, golf days, a London to Paris cycle ride, sponsored runs, walks and bake sales to raise money for life saving research.

Rob Melling, Chief Executive, said, “It’s important to us that we make a measurable impact on our community, so we’re delighted that this year we have exceeded our target fundraising by more than double for this extremely worthy charity.

“The staff in all of our offices have really got stuck into helping raise money – quite literally. Staff from Nottingham were wading through thick mud in an endurance challenge for the cause.

“We hope that the money raised will help contribute to the life-saving research that British Heart Foundation undertakes.”

Hayley Gough, Fundraising Manager at the BHF, added, “We are absolutely thrilled with the amazing total that Curtins have raised for us. It has been a real team effort with colleagues from across the UK getting involved in all kinds of activities. The money raised will help us to fund more life saving research which will help us to end the devastation of heart and circulatory conditions and save lives. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us through the partnership.”

One in four of us in the UK and one in three globally die from heart and circulatory diseases. That’s why the British Heart Foundation funds world-leading research into their causes, prevention, treatment and cure. Advances from our research have saved and improved millions of lives, but heart diseases, stroke, vascular dementia and their risk factors such as diabetes still cause heartbreak on every street. With the public’s support, our funding will drive the new discoveries to end that heartbreak.

For more information on how the BHF works with corporate partners, as well as how your business can get involved, visit www.bhf.org.uk