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Case Study: Wokingham Major Highways programme

As an existing client of Skilled Labour Services (Southern), Balfour Beatty is one of the UK’s leading multi- functional contractors. Balfour Beatty have been selected to deliver a major highways programme to help facilitate growth in the borough of Wokingham .


Having a confident and competent labour supplier is paramount in enabling success on all projects not just at Arborfield. From the SLS site introductions back in February 2019 the client brief was clear. Balfour Beatty required a labour force that was qualified, accredited and trustworthy to provide first class support from the original site set up to ongoing construction requirements.


The need to be mindful of the environmental, domestic and social responsibilities of the project was a must from the start.

SLS worked hand in hand with the client to ensure that all staff from welfare operatives to site mangers were individually picked from the SLS data base and were based on previous employment records and ability to work under a strict process of quality control.

Reference Checking

All staff were record and reference checked prior to being interviewed. After onboarding was completed , SLS carried out inductions and Drug and Alcohol testing on behalf of the client.


With 30 SLS operatives on site of all levels the need to ensure that ongoing training, education and mentoring became visible, along with employee, client and legal requirements SLS and Balfour Beatty put a training rota together that focused on immediate and long-term needs.


This meant additional accreditations for already qualified staff and providing new training opportunities to operatives that were new to the industry and showed promise. These requirements were regularly reviewed, and training put into place whenever required.

As a Senior Site manager I needed a labour supplier that provided quality staff on a demanding project in tight timescales. Skilled Labour Services were responsive to my needs with an exceptional operational and administration team.-Tom Hill Balfour Beatty

Continuous improvement is part of the SLS ethos

Flexibility of site staff on a project of this importance is key to the success of ensuring relationships with the local authority and residence close to site works. Individual SLS operatives were identified as being capable and confident of working outside normal site conditions to enable a smooth and workable relationship with all third parties, certainly during the adverse weather conditions of the winter.


An understanding of the importance in keeping local residence able to carry on as normal as possible saw SLS staff working additional and difficult hours to support the community in getting on with their lives with little or no interference from the project.


As the work runs into the end of the second year, SLS have used the project as a business model to focus on future opportunities and will adapt the business to work to the same high standards required from Balfour Beatty.


Continuous improvement is part of the SLS ethos and being able to adapt to suit client needs is what we base our mission statement on. We are now being recognized as not being the biggest in the industry but certainly one of the fastest growing labour suppliers in the construction sector and this is simply based on giving the client the service they require first time around and being able continue with this level of service time and time again.

About Author : Liane Power