April 6, 2017
CPB Contractors Indigenous and Social Inclusion Manager, Seraphine Bray, on the company’s approach to utilising social enterprises in the company’s work winning process and delivery of projects.
Tell us a little about CPB Contractors.
CPB Contractors is the CIMIC Group’s construction company, with a team of around 23,000 people working at operations across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Asia and India.
We combine the construction track record and expertise formerly delivered by Leighton Contractors and Thiess.
We deliver major projects across all key sectors of the construction industry, including roads, rail, tunnelling, defence and building.
We share the CIMIC Group principles of Integrity, Accountability, Innovation and Delivery.
Safety underpins everything we do.
What are some of your current and future projects?
In conjunction with our clients and partners, CPB Contractors is delivering some of Australia’s most important projects. In Sydney these include a $2.81 billion JV contract to deliver twin 15.5km tunnels and associated civil works on Stage 2 of the Sydney Metro project, the M4 Widening, M4 East Motorway and the New M5 Motorway as part of WestConnex, and we are also constructing the Northern Beaches Hospital.
Other major projects include the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage Two and Logan Enhancement roads project in Queensland; the Canberra Light Rail Stage One in the Australian Capital Territory; and the building of railway stations and removal of level crossings, as well as water treatment plant upgrades, in Victoria.
Our pipeline of work is strong and we expect to be delivering major construction projects across all of the regions where we operate in 2017 and beyond.
Can you give some examples of the range of goods and services you need to deliver your projects?
We require a highly diverse range of goods and services to support our projects, especially as we mobilise a project team and set up site offices, so within that there is opportunity for suppliers to take advantage of our procurement and sourcing strategies and get involved.
For example, we currently utilise a socially ethical cleaning company that places people with disabilities into the workforce, a company that engages disadvantaged youth to help construct administrative facilities, and social enterprises to provide general labour hire and services such as furniture and IT equipment procurement and on-site catering.
A key component of our work winning strategy is building strong business relationships with social enterprises through strategic partnerships, such as that with Social Traders, and to find suitable business opportunities that will deliver positive outcomes for our projects, people and clients.
Can you give us a sense of CPB Contractors’ interest in engaging with social enterprises on bids and projects?
We are committed to diversity and social inclusion, and to providing people experiencing disadvantage with access to employment and training opportunities in the regions where we operate.
Our focus is on providing employment and training opportunities to Indigenous people, unemployed youth, people with disabilities and refugees.
We aim to provide direct employment, as well as indirect employment through our subcontractors and suppliers; access to training and up-skilling for people experiencing disadvantage; and to build positive and inclusive workplaces through engagement with our workforce.
We seek to support the social sustainability endeavours and expectations of our clients, and work to ensure intended and agreed outcomes are met at our projects.
How and why is this different from some of the more traditional tender processes you’ve been involved with?
Early in the tendering process we work with Social Traders to identify which social enterprises may be required and suitable for a project, based on our commitments and the expectations of our clients.
This can be a less traditional and more specific and targeted vetting and negotiation process, where positive business relationships, sensitivity, flexibility and adaptability come into play.
Once the social enterprises are identified, we enact our governance and compliance processes to ensure that any goods and services are procured in a transparent, competitive and sustainable manner.
With the right foundations of partnership, together we can build more active, more inclusive and better connected communities.
CPB Contractors is a buyer member of Social Traders’ Connect, a unique service for corporate and government buyers seeking to procure from social enterprise.