We expect our suppliers to actively engage with the communities in which we operate. Suppliers are encouraged to source labour, goods, and services from local communities, thus maximising the opportunities for our projects to benefit both Stockland and locals.
We partnered with the primary contractor of our $412 million shopping centre redevelopment of Stockland Green Hills (NSW) to focus on local employment opportunities provided by the project. Over the past year, the project created 1,495 construction jobs within the local community (defined as contractors residing within 50 kilometres of the site). Furthermore, the project has procured over one-third of its construction services from within the local area (measured by value).
Another feature of our Green Hills redevelopment is the Green Hills Connectivity Centre, which we set up in collaboration with the primary contractor on the project. The aim of the Connectivity Centre is to connect job seekers with employment opportunities, and to upskill individuals in preparation for the workplace. Over the past year, the Connectivity Centre placed 74 people into employment in construction, retail, and administration positions. The Centre also provided post-placement support to 19 employers to ensure placement retention.
The Connectivity Centre also convened workshops such as the Customer Service Workshop, where young job seekers interested in working in industries such as retail and hospitality can gain a statement of attainment to increase their employability.
Other workshops hosted by the Connectivity Centre during the year include Driver Learner and Driver Awareness workshops, as well as Interview Technique workshops.
One of the highlights of the year for the Connectivity Centre was an art exhibition that the centre hosted in April 2017. The exhibition engaged job seekers in the local community who are artistic or undergoing art as therapy, and encouraged broader community engagement with the centre. The exhibition involved a collaboration with Maitland City Council and the Local Aboriginal Land Council, and was featured in the local paper the day after winners were announced.