Read about the winner and shortlisted entries of this year’s award for Major Contractor of the Year (over £500m)
The firm has been appointed to the government’s £1bn New Prisons Programme, which has seen it partner with three other contractors on a delivery methodology that prioritises modern methods of construction, drives innovation, maximises social value outcomes and creates a contemporary prison estate to deliver on the UK’s 2050 net zero carbon targets. ISG has also introduced a new system giving project teams, contractors and the wider workforce easy access to videos and animations that demonstrate safe practice and provide other safety information. It is envisaged that the system will replace conventional method statements, providing a modern approach that speaks to the next generation and transcends language barriers. The contractor also attracted a 98% CEO approval rating on Glassdoor, was ninth in the Best Companies to Work For list for the second quarter of 2022 in the UK, and has reduced its gender pay gap by 50% in the past five years – highlighting its commitment to being a good employer.
Over the past three years Kier has transformed how it operates, and in 2021 the contractor completed the actions that chief executive Andrew Davies set out in his 2019 strategic review, which were to simplify the business, generate cash and strengthen the balance sheet. The firm is working on over 400 projects, with an emphasis on education, health, custodial, defence, road, rail and utilities. Highlights include the construction team being appointed to the £7bn Department for Education 2021 construction framework and being awarded a £93m design and build contract for new clinical buildings at Luton and Dunstable Hospital. Meanwhile, the highways arm was awarded more than £1bn of work for the six months to December 2021, including the design and construction of the A66 Northern Trans‑Pennine scheme. The firm also launched a diversity and inclusion roadmap in June 2021 that lays out a five-year plan to drive forward progress across the business.
For Mace, 2021 was another huge year of business growth, with the firm being involved in two of the most complex projects the business has ever delivered, at Battersea Power Station and the Project Laureate in Cambridge. The contractor has invested more than £34m in its digital capabilities and has remained dedicated to transforming how the industry builds. Mace has done this by backing modern methods of construction like low carbon concrete as well as the AEC control room at Paddington Square. The contractor has delivered 12,554 tonnes of carbon savings for its construction clients and identified more than 35,000 tonnes of carbon savings on further projects. The firm has also put a focus on boosting and bolstering its workforce diversity through a number of measures. The outcomes include Mace’s latest gender pay gap data showing an almost 10% improvement over the year and the company recruiting 106 graduates and apprentices of whom 65% are female and 45% from ethnic minorities.
Increasingly recognised as a tier 1 contractor, McLaren Construction operates across the UK and the United Arab Emirates, employing 675 people, an increase of 12% on a year earlier. It has worked on a number of flagship UK projects for global brands including Aston Martin F1, a UK headquarters, factory and R&D facility at Silverstone, Jaguar Land Rover’s cutting-edge testing facility in Coventry, and Leicester City Football Club’s training ground. The company has further developed the structured career paths offered through McLaren’s Training Academy, which have been career launchpads, evident in the fact 90% of McLaren trainees go on to earn annual salaries of £30,000 or more within five years. The firm has closed its gender pay gap year-on-year since 2018, with a 7.5% decrease in the mean gap and a 2.2% decrease in the median gap recorded in 2021. McLaren has also increased the number of women in its upper quartile of earners.