Belfast Telegraph

Graham wins road deal in England as it unveils £1m talent growth programme

By Margaret Canning

Co Down construction and civil engineering giant Graham is set to work on a major road project in England as it announced a £1m skills plan to retain talent for future growth.

The company, which is based in Hillsborough and carries out work around the UK, said it was introducing a programme focusing on the "behavioural, emotional and personal resilience" of its staff.

News of its personnel programme comes as Graham announced it had been appointed to design and lay a new road in Stockport, which will have to be built under a listed viaduct dating back to the 1840s.

It will be working on a £13m link road - part of an overall £73m town centre access plan.

Leo Martin, executive director at Graham, said: "We are delighted that Graham is the contractor of choice to complete the works for the new Travis Brow Link Road.

"This development forms a key part of an extensive access plan for Stockport's town centre, with high levels of expertise required to complete the work - especially when you take into consideration the Grade II-listed viaduct and tunnel."

The firm won the deal against strong competition from industry rivals.

Meanwhile, economic development agency Invest NI says it is offering around £300,000 in support towards Graham's new staff programme.

The company last week featured at number 16 in the Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 of fast-growing UK firms after increasing turnover to £565m, up from £508m a year earlier.

Recent contract wins include work on the new Grand Central Hotel in Belfast city centre, and a Dunnes Stores refurbishment at the Abbey Centre in Newtownabbey.

And this week it announced its fit-out arm would be working on new offices for Grant Thornton at Danske Bank's headquarters at Donegall Square in Belfast. Graham employs around 1,900 people and has 15 offices around the UK and Ireland.

Executive chairman Michael Graham said adopting the new programme would bring a "holistic" approach to looking after staff.

"Our ambition is to become an industry leader," he said.

"Safeguarding the wellbeing of our employees and supporting their career development will be a vital component in achieving this objective."

Niall Casey, Invest NI director of skills and competitiveness, said: "Graham Construction is leading the way in its person-centred HR practices which, if replicated, has the potential to make an impact for other companies across a number of industries in Northern Ireland.

"The skills support Invest NI has offered to Graham is allowing employees to realise their full potential.

"This in turn builds the talent in the company which will help it realise its growth ambitions."

The programme has been developed by local human performance specialists Support to Perform, based at Catalyst Inc - the new name for the Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfast.

Its website lists four pillars of human performance - nutrition, sleep, physical activity and resilience.

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