As well as being important to our staff, creating social value is important to our identity as an organisation. EPR recognises that the construction industry has enormous potential for influence and the ability to provide meaningful benefits to communities.
Community outreach work is a key pillar of the EPR Everyone Strategy which outlines the practice’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, including a five-year vision for the evolution of the practice.
We focus on initiatives where our skills can make the most difference. In London, our School Outreach Programme aims to improve access to careers within architecture for young people who are currently under represented in the profession, such as those from low-income backgrounds. We deliver in-school presentations and workshops and provide ongoing support for participating students through meaningful work experience placements and mentoring.
To date, EPR has delivered eight workshops to schools in Southwark, developing a good relationship with three schools local to our All Saints studio and provided one week of work experience for four Year 10 students and another two weeks for six Year 12 students. We have also offered work experience weeks to seven additional private applicants. So far, our ongoing support has reached 250 students.
By Autumn 2024, we hope to offer one architectural apprenticeship every year and one non-architectural apprenticeship every two years.
‘The EPR School Outreach Programme highlights how interested young people are in the built environment — the level of engagement from students across the three partner schools has been amazing to see. The ambition for the programme is to set up long-term partnerships with local schools and offer as many students as possible the opportunity to access the profession.’
Associate and Head of EPR's Social Value Working Group