Good News Story: Innovative Window Solutions & Their Innovative Approach to Social ProcurementJuly 29, 2021
Innovative Windows Solutions is not only innovative in their window solutions, but also in their approach to delivering on social procurement.
Social procurement is a goal of the GROW initiative, aiming to ensure local businesses are using their purchasing power to make decisions that benefit social enterprises and organisations who support vulnerable communities.
‘We’ve always felt passionate about upskilling people that want a second chance; if they are willing to work and learn and try, we’re willing to back them,’ said Director, Matthew Drake.
When tendering on the Chisholm Road Prison Project, Innovative Window Solutions was committed to achieving the social procurement aims laid out in the tender documentation. They received a letter of support from GROW’s Liz Everist endorsing their values, actions and clear intentions to assist those with barriers to employment.
“Firstly, we needed to ensure we could supply their demand ie skilled workers and then address the tender criteria. It was quite a bit of work but well worth it. We were successful in winning the tender and are delighted to say we are now smashing our targets.”
So what were those targets?
Kelsey Baglin, Project Coordinator explains, ‘We committed to supplying 1.8% of the total contract value to be Indigenous workers. We used Wathaurong Glass as a local supplier and outsourced the manufacture of the steel mesh to Lyness Steel; a Colac-based steel manufacturing business in a postcode that GROW support.’
Innovative Windows Solutions committed to 10% of their labour force being Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander people and already more than doubled that – and they’re only halfway through the project!
‘We also committed to 25% of our labour hours to be completed by workers from disadvantaged cohorts including GROW postcodes. That requirement was for 545 hours and we’re currently sitting on 340 hours with four months to go until completion.’
2% of the contract value was to provide employment opportunities to people with disability. The team talked about this internally sharing the aims of GROW with all their staff.
‘Given most disability is invisible and not everyone chooses to identify as a person with disability. Because we were being so transparently inclusive some existing staff felt safe enough to share their situations with us (e.g. chronic illness & mental illness) which we’re extremely proud of. We then talked to them about any reasonable adjustments they might need in order to undertake their roles to ensure they feel supported.’
The Change Continues
Innovative Window Solutions has taken their commitment to creating these opportunities outside of their workforce. Their collaboration with Wathaurong Glass “was one of the best outcomes for us,” said Matthew. “We are now sponsoring their Indigenous football team and intend to become more involved with the football club as a place to meet and support young Indigenous people.”
GROW G21 is facilitated by the Give Where You Live Foundation and is a joint initiative with G21-Geelong Region Alliance, working to tackle disadvantage in our region through employment, aligned to our Theory of Change.