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Construction Youth Trust, measuring and communicating the value of social impact

A KTP helped national charity Construction Youth Trust determine the financial value of its social impact and become an expert partner in the construction sector

Construction Youth Trust (CYT) is a national charity that supports disadvantaged young people aged 16 to 30 by providing access to training, education and employment opportunities in the construction industry.

Although the Trust knew its work was valuable, it didn't have a formal and robust way of analysing and measuring the monetary value of the social impact it makes against the amount of investment it receives from funders.

To address this problem, CYT collaborated with London South Bank University (LSBU) on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to develop and implement Social Return on Investment (SROI) methods that measure the social value of its programmes.

KTPs evaluate performance and increase productivity

KTP Associate Jemma Bridgeman developed feedback mechanisms that capture the value of CYT's practical construction skills course where young people carry out improvements works at a community centre. The course was supported by £5,000 of investment from the Willmott Dixon Foundation and £5,800 worth of Willmott Dixon staff time.

Jemma's newly developed SROI metric places a monetary value of £6.51 on the programme's social impact for every £1 of investment that the Trust received. This value takes into account increased income, tax revenues, better health and a reduction in welfare benefits.

"This is the first time that anyone has been able to put a value on young people's future within the construction industry. We believe this new methodology will become standard practice in the industry as social value becomes a key consideration alongside price in the future

-  Jemma Bridgeman, KTP Associate

Feedback from programme participants has also provided CYT with valuable insights which can be used to continually improve its services.

KTPs improve communication and encourage collaboration

CYT can now effectively demonstrate the social worth of its work to a range of funders, donors, government agencies, industry partners, community groups, schools and other disadvantaged young people.

CYT has also become a sought-after expert consultant for the construction sector in matters of Corporate Social Responsibility, which leads to more opportunities for industry collaborations. CYT has also strengthened its relationships with existing funding partners.

"We know we have to capture and better articulate how we are helping young people to further bridge the gap between communities and construction. We don't work in isolation. We need to create a common language for construction, so we can work together to help young people," says Christine Townley, Executive Director of CYT

Since the development of the SROI model, CYT works regularly alongside policymakers and ministers to inform on-going policy development, giving them the opportunity to influence the sector they operate within.

Jemma is now employed as a Wales Project Coordinator by CYT to develop the SROI methodology further.


Construction Youth Infographic thumbnail

Calculating the financial value of social impact with the Construction Youth Trust.
Construction Youth Trust - infographic (PDF File 92 KB)