West Midlands Ambulance Station project brings social value to our borough

The new West Midlands Ambulance Station (WMAS) development is well underway in Oldbury. Not only will it be the largest ambulance hub of its kind in the country, bringing a significant increase in ambulance operational capability for the Black Country and Birmingham, but its build has brought social value to our region too.

Around 21 people in hard hats and high vis jackets, smilingSince work began on site in May 2021, contractor McLaren has worked with Sandwell Council (including the Think Sandwell recruitment team), electrical subcontractor WysePower and groundwork company McCoy to:

• Recruit seven apprentices
• Recruit eleven local people
• Provide two internships to Construction Management students at Birmingham City University
• Engage with nearby Rounds Green Primary School to design and build two bug houses
• Give six site visits to school and university students
• Give volunteering time to Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust
• Undertake a fundraising healthy eating ‘cook off’, with donations made to the Wildlife Trust.

‘The power of social value’

Cameron was taken on by McCoy in November as a groundworker apprentice in November. As well as attending college, he has been undertaking varied activities including building manholes, laying pipe runs and using machinery – predominantly on site at WMAS.

Cameron said: “I have really settled into my role at McCoy Contractors and I really enjoy the physical side of the work. I have been allocated to a ‘gang’ on site and I have formed a great friendship with all of the lads that I work with – they trust me and therefore allow me to prepare the pipes or even help lay them, this means that I am always busy which I believe is key to enjoyment, especially during apprenticeship stage.”

Leader of Sandwell Council Councillor Kerrie Carmichael said: “This amazing new facility for West Midlands Ambulance Service demonstrates the power of social value. When organisations like WMAS, McLaren, WysePower and Sandwell Council – through Think Sandwell – work together we can achieve positive outcomes by providing exciting career opportunities for our apprentices.

“Our collaborative approach means this facility will benefit Sandwell residents and the wider community. And by establishing links with key contractors, education providers and the voluntary sector, our partnership will assist our apprentices in developing successful careers that enhance the physical, economic, social and environmental wellbeing of our communities.”

Learn more about social value in Sandwell.