Kier celebrates a positive start in Boston
Published by Elizabeth Pokorny for Kier Services in Housing and also in Communities
Kier in Boston has marked its first anniversary working alongside Longhurst and Havelok Homes with customer satisfaction levels at 95.05 per cent. The contract delivers repairs and maintenance to customer’s properties and works to improve social housing and provide learning and employment opportunities.
The collaboration, between Kier’s maintenance arm and Longhurst and Havelok Homes was created in April last year to help improve the repairs and maintenance service provided to 9000 tenants living in social housing accommodation around Lincolnshire, East Anglia, East Riding and Nottinghamshire.
In the first year of the five plus five year contract, Kier carried out a total of 15,438 repairs on local homes, 2,134 of which were emergencies. Both organisations are striving to improve customer service, including working to achieve faster response times to repairs and other inquiries. This has resulted in Kier achieving its target of completing 74 per cent of repairs on the first visit.
The company, which employs 80 staff fromBostonand a widespread east midlands area , is also providing benefits to the wider community. In 2011-12 Kier recruited two apprentices to work across a number of professional trades such as plastering, bricklaying and administration. The apprentices have gained invaluable on-site experience as well as attended training atBostonorDoncasterColleges. This apprenticeship scheme will be extended into the future.
OneBostonemployee, Tish Dixon, secured a permanent full-time post as administrative assistant where she now helps to schedule work and deal with customers following completion of a placement with Kier.
Tish said: “Before my placement with Kier I was struggling to find employment that was mentally stimulating and paid well and paying rent and bills had started to become an issue. Since securing the full-time role I feel my confidence has grown tremendously and I’ve gained valuable transferable skills.”
Kier has also provided more than 180 work experience days for local young people, offered 32 weeks of new apprenticeships and delivered health & safety training for 69 employees.
Since the contract began, Kier has recorded no reportable incidents due to its commitment as an employer to the health & safety of its team and its long-standing focus to strive for the safest working conditions possible.
Kier senior operations manager for maintenance inBoston, Heidi Thompson, said: “Kier and Longhurst and Havelok Homes working together is putting both efficiency and improving the service customers receive as our top priorities. Through sharing services, committing to employee development and identifying areas to improve we are constantly looking for ways to improve the service we offer to residents locally”.
Richard Tweddell, Head of Property Services at L&H Homes said: “The employment of a new contractor inevitably introduces new challenges during the mobilisation of the contract. However, effective working practices are now in place and the contract is now delivering both high levels of customer satisfaction and value for money. We now look forward to realising the benefits of this long term partnering agreement and in particular working with Kier and our residents in making further improvements to our repairs service.’’
L&H tenant board member, Linda Scott said: “We have been working with Kier for a year now and the improvement in service has been impressive. We have regular meetings with our service provider in order to access those work which are most important to local residents and we are always impressed with Kier’s eagerness and commitment to listening to us and taking our ideas on board.”
InBoston, Kier also works in partnership with local RSL, Boston Mayflower to provide repairs and maintenance to around 4,800 homes and has recently won a new contract with Boston Borough Council providing repairs and maintenance to its municipal buildings.
For more information about Kier visit www.kier.co.uk/maintenance
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