OCS Wins Top Awards for Environmental Best Practice at Bluewater

Three times award winner at the Green Apple Awards

OCS has been awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze at the Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice in recognition of its work at retail and leisure destination Bluewater in Kent.

For the past 7 years OCS has delivered a full portfolio of security, cleaning, mechanical and electrical, concierge, landscaping, and management and administration services at Bluewater. The gold award was received for its ‘Making Room for Nature’ biodiversity project which also created a vital wellbeing space for the local community at the Bluewater nature trail.

Biodiversity initatives

As part of the project the team created 188m2 of new flower beds and introduced pollinating plants and British native species to support insects. An additional 330m2 of wildflower planting was seeded in low quality areas to include the Cotoneaster Franchetti which absorbs 20% more air pollutants than other similar sized shrubs. The team reviewed all the planting and worked in collaboration with the onsite landscaping team and ecologist to draft this programme of improvements.

Sustainability and Innovation

The Silver award was for an ‘LED lighting programme’ that OCS introduced which was a phased lighting upgrade programme to convert all functional lights to LED and install automated controls and metering. This has delivered a 65% reduction in energy costs and associated carbon emissions. The Bronze award was for a ‘Building Sustainable Communities’ project which saw the team work with several local charities and community groups to raise environmental awareness, delivering 90 hours of community-based volunteering and over £400,000 of social value over the past year.

“To win gold, silver and bronze at the Green Apple Awards is a fantastic achievement and the team at Bluewater should all be very proud of their hard work. Working in partnership with our client with aligned values around the importance of collaboration, integrity and respect for communities and the environment has helped us to make a real difference. We will continue to support biodiversity on site and intend to use it for educational purposes for local schools as part of our community-based volunteering projects.”

Jacky So

ESG Director at OCS UK & Ireland

Edinburgh Airport appoints OCS to support passengers with reduced mobility

Edinburgh Airport has chosen OCS, the leading international facilities service provider, to ensure that passengers with reduced mobility (PRMs) receive specialist support in their journey through the airport. It is part of its commitment to providing all passengers with excellent customer service and a seamless journey.

Under the terms of the agreement OCS will provide a 24/7 continuous service every day including public and bank holidays, ensuring assisted safe passage through the airport (departures and arrivals) to and from the airplane to defined arrival/onward journey points, working closely with airlines and handling agents. The service includes covering assistance with set down points or pick up points to check-in; registration at check-in and with security processes; support with boarding, disembarking and with missed or delayed flights.

The service is underpinned by bespoke technology that enables passengers to register once and then receive a personalised service each time they fly in or out of Edinburgh Airport based on their previous preferences and requirements – where possible with the same team member. This has also proven to reduce the number of passengers who do not book assistance in advance ensuring a better service for all.

A team of over 130 colleagues will transfer to OCS under TUPE and immediately undertake a rigorous, bespoke training programme that has been developed at Glasgow Airport, Southampton Airport and Bristol Airport where the company delivers a similar service. They will also benefit from broader career development and job opportunities, in line with the company’s values of giving colleagues the tools to enable them to thrive and be the best they can be.

“The number of PRMs travelling is growing steadily so understanding the requirements and potential issues is of increasing importance to both airlines and airports alike. Our team members are often the first and last touchpoints at the airport and we ensure that they are knowledgeable, empathetic, and engaging, with a clear objective to deliver the best possible customer service.”

Richard Marshall

Managing Director, OCS

“We are proud of our Very Good rating for our PRM and Special Assistance provision and we want to ensure that we provide a service that grants everyone the same access and experience no matter the circumstances. OCS’s experience within the aviation industry will allow us to maintain that high standard and work together to make improvements where we can.”

Ross Gilpin

Contract & Operational Manager at Edinburgh Airport

Mobilising cleaning team at short notice for stadium gig

The customer

The Coventry Building Society Arena is owned by the Frasers Group, and hosts a multitude of events throughout the year. From being the home stadium for Coventry City FC to hosting live music concerts, exhibitions and conferences, the venue is a continual hive of activity.

The challenge

In the summer of 2022, the facility underwent some major redevelopment work to refurbish the boardroom and executive boxes. With the final stage of work still ongoing and a board event due to take place in the new area in under a week, the Arena’s incumbent cleaning contractor wasn’t able to fulfil a deep clean – leaving the Arena with a serious challenge. 

While the OCS team had worked with Frasers Group before, we had never worked on the Coventry Building Society Arena, and were asked to mobilise a team of eight cleaners within three days to conduct a Saturday deep clean.

 

The solution

By using our time and attendance software system, we were immediately able to contact all staff in the local area across all of our divisions to gauge availability to work at the Arena on the Saturday. Very quickly, we were able to mobilise a team ready to ensure the new facilities were spotless. 

With rubble still on the floor, the team was on-site for around five hours, cleaning everything from walls, windows and floors to big screens, coordinating with and working around the builders as the last stages of building work were completed

The outcome

The cleaning work was completed more quickly than the customer expected, and when they arrived to inspect the site, they were incredibly impressed. As they’d never worked with us before, they didn’t know what to expect, and they were hugely grateful – not only that we’d been able to mobilise a team so quickly, but also because of the quality of the job. 

By ensuring the facility was clean, safe and hygienic, the event the Arena had booked in for 36 hours later was able to go ahead. 

OCS receive social value commendation at ERSA Employability Awards 2023

OCS were honoured to receive a social value commendation at the ERSA Employability Awards 2023.

We always aim to be our best, delivering the best partnerships and best services every time. It takes a hard-working, knowledgeable and compassionate team to provide the services and initiatives at OCS and we are extremely proud of our commendation.

The ERSA Employability Awards celebrate best practice in the employment support sector and demonstrate the hard work and dedication of those working to improve the lives of jobseekers, communities and the wider workforce.

We were also thrilled to have been nominated by Ingeus for the ‘Employer Partnership of the Year Award’.

Unlocking potential: placing people into work with OCS

The nomination

We are committed to being a responsible employer and building a diverse and inclusive workforce reflective of the communities we serve. We have an established ‘Placing People into Work’ programme dedicated to changing lives by providing meaningful employment to people from vulnerable groups and pathways for development for all our colleagues.

Ingeus and OCS work closely together to develop and refine tailored recruitment processes for each contract. By tailoring the pre-selection process, we ensure that candidates are equipped with everything they need to help them succeed in work. This includes making sure candidates have the necessary documents, information and training ahead of being interviewed, and that support mechanisms are in place for new recruits once they are in work.

Ingeus is now supporting us to fill vacancies for Court Tribunal and Security Officers (CTSO) in London and Greater Manchester. Together we have developed and refined a recruitment process, established service level agreements, and are now delivering exceptional results. In the last such recruitment exercise there were 20 candidates put forward for interview who secured job offers.

To help prepare candidates for interview Ingeus works with OCS to:

  • Source candidates with the right skills and aptitudes for the role
  • Deliver employer information sessions
  • Fund participants Security Industry Association (SIA) licences
  • Deliver a bespoke 3-day CTSO routeway course (designed by OCS)
  • Arrange a visit to a local court
  • Prepare documents for the enhanced security vetting processes

All candidates who successfully complete the CTSO routeway course are put forward for interview.

In the first recruitment round, Ingeus Employer Account Manager Farwa spent several weeks calling 160 potential applicants to see whether the role would suit them. She narrowed the search down to 12 people who attended a three-day Routeway Course devised by Ingeus to explain the job in detail. Seven people were offered roles, four of whom are female.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the building – people were jumping up and down with delight after getting the jobs,” she recalls. “An established company had given them a chance and you couldn’t help but feel the emotion in the room.”

In undertaking this innovative and tailored approach to recruitment through Ingeus, we are attracting candidates who would not typically apply for our vacancies. In doing so we are challenging role stereotypes (gender, age, ethnicity etc.) and creating a stronger workforce which is more reflective of the communities we work within.

Stephen Kerr, Senior Regional Manager, OCS, said the partnership had been instrumental in supporting our drive to attract women and others currently under-represented in the security industry.

“Working with Ingeus on our social value recruitment process, we have been able to recruit talented people into our workforce who have unique experiences and abilities,” he said. “In our role at HM Courts and Tribunals Service, showing our customers genuine empathy in difficult circumstances is a key skill and our Ingeus recruits have that in abundance.”

Ann-Marie Conlon-Taylor, OCS Social Value Manager, HMCTS contract added: “Working with Ingeus helps us access people who have faced barriers to work, but who are being properly supported in a professional manner into employment. We were very impressed with the calibre of applicants put forward.”

OCS awarded double Gold by RoSPA for exceptional health and safety achievements

OCS, one of the world’s leading international facilities service providers, has been honoured with the highly esteemed Gold RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Award for its outstanding commitment to Health and Safety.

OCS was awarded a Gold RoSPA for its National Grid Vegetation and Industrial Painting contracts, where they consistently demonstrated exemplary health and safety standards implementing proactive measures to identify and mitigate potential risks across its operations. OCS are committed to safe working on every site, every day, and their non-complicated approach is combined with proactive management at all levels to ensure occupational health and safety are treated as a core value.

John Prowse, National Operations Director at OCS said, “Safety is a key priority for all operations at OCS. By achieving the Gold Award, we have proven our commitment to safeguarding our colleagues, customers and the public from potential harm, and have set a benchmark for others in the industry to follow.

“We are committed to ensuring safety plays a key role in every facet of the business. We recognise this requires a sustained commitment and active involvement at all levels – from the board, to managers, support teams and frontline colleagues. This has helped to create the necessary conditions for high standards in safety performance and continual improvements towards an injury-free workplace.”

“Accidents at work and work-related ill health cause major disruption and can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. That’s why good safety performance deserves to be recognised and rewarded.

We are thrilled that OCS has won two Gold RoSPA Awards and would like to congratulate them on showing an unwavering commitment to keeping their employees and customers safe from accidental harm and injury.”

Julia Small

RoSPA’s Achievements Director

The RoSPA Awards recognise organisations that have successfully implemented and maintained comprehensive health and safety management systems. Entrants are rigorously assessed on various criteria including accident prevention, risk assessment, employee training and engagement.

The Gold RoSPA Award adds to the growing list of accolades and recognitions OCS has received for its commitment to excellence. As a company, OCS has been recognised with 12 RoSPA awards in 2023 and remains steadfast in its pursuit of continuous improvement and will continue to invest in health and safety initiatives to ensure the well-being of its workforce and all stakeholders.

OCS Emirates receive RoSPA recognition.

We are proud to share that our colleagues at OCS Emirates, situated in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, have achieved a Gold Award for Excellence in Health and Safety by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)!

RoSPA Awards are internationally recognised as the most sought after accolade in the health and safety industry, and businesses who have earned this achievement recognised as world-leaders in health and safety.

This achievement not only showcases our commitment to high standards but also underscores our responsibility towards fostering a workplace where safety is paramount. We believe that a safe working environment is the foundation for productivity, innovation, and success.

Well done to each and every colleague who made this happen!

“It is outstanding to be recognised to this standard on a global platform and is a testament to our unwavering commitment to creating a safe and secure working environment for our employees, clients and end users.”

Michael Nicholas

Managing Director, OCS Emirates

As we celebrate this milestone, we remain committed to continuous improvement and innovation in our health and safety practices. Our journey doesn’t end here; it’s a stepping stone towards even greater achievements.

Here’s to a safer and brighter future for OCS!

Angel Hill Food Co chef wins ‘StrEATfood Chef of the Year 2023’

A Development Chef who works for leading contract caterer Angel Hill Food Co, has been awarded a highly prestigious award recognising his outstanding talent, creativity and dedication to delivering exceptional food experiences.

Matt Chapman was named “StrEATfood Chef of the year” at the Annual StrEATfood Awards which searches for the UK’s most creative street food chef from the workplace and event catering sectors. He beat 15 other chefs who were also shortlisted after entering their signature street food dishes for the panel of judges, with a winning dish of a Keralan steak and chip butty. He also came second in the ‘Dish of the year’ category with his Oak smoked goat birria tacos.

Matt has worked at Angel Hill Food Co for almost 6 years where he develops recipes for clients, creating dishes that are tasty, healthy and different.

Commenting on his win Matt said: “I am truly honoured and humbled by this recognition. Street food is all about connecting with people through the power of food and I feel incredibly lucky to have this platform to share my passion.  This award belongs to my dedicated team who have supported me throughout the competition and given me the opportunity to explore new flavours, techniques, and cultures.  My company has always championed my ambitions – providing me, and my team, with the tools and skills to do more, allowing us to achieve great things together.”

Chris Ince, Chef Director at Angel Hill Food Co, added: “We are extremely proud of Matt and this incredible achievement.  His passion for food shines through in his engagement with all of our frontline teams and the amazing food he creates for our clients. These awards are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all that the contract catering industry has to offer, and they are aligned to our commitment to making people and places the best they can be.”

It’s Road Safety Week!

We invite you to participate in Road Safety Week that is running from November 19th to 25th. The week is about spreading awareness, fostering mindfulness, and ensuring safety for ourselves and each other on the roads.

Our goal is simple: to save lives.

Each year, countless lives are affected by road accidents, but together, we can make a difference. By coming together during Road Safety Week, we can:

  • Raise awareness: Help others understand the importance of safe driving, responsible pedestrian behaviour, and the consequences of road accidents.
  • Promote mindfulness: Encourage everyone to be more mindful while on the road, whether behind the wheel or walking as pedestrians.
  • Ensure safety for all: Share tips, best practices, and resources to make our roads safer for everyone.
  • Visit brake.org.uk to download posters and resources to help spread the word and drive the message home.

Join us in making roads safer and preventing accidents during Road Safety Week. We can create a positive impact, save lives, and build a safer community.

Drive Safely!

OCS New Zealand: College student set to soar with life-changing scholarship

A New Zealand college student with a passion for computer science has been awarded a life-changing scholarship to attend university.

Every year, the OCS First Foundation Scholarship is awarded to a student who has a family member employed at facilities services company, OCS New Zealand and faces financial challenges which may prevent them being able to attend university.

This year’s recipient, Rawiri Ngatai, was born and bred in Tauranga, and along with his siblings, was raised by his adopted parents.

Ngatai was bullied and struggled during his Primary and Intermediate School years but says that changed when he started high school and discovered a passion for learning.

“I was bullied and told I wasn’t going to go anywhere in life. Now, my biggest motivator is proving those people wrong.”

Rawiri Ngatai

“I developed an interest in technology, creating online games and learning how technology can improve daily life. Artificial Intelligence is everywhere, and I want to show people how it can be used for good,” says Ngatai.

Ngatai says his family supported and encouraged him to take up a cleaning job with OCS, where he gained workforce experience in the school holidays.

“Working for OCS gave me an idea of what the workforce is like. My dad is a specialist cleaner for OCS. He works hard and has shown me what a good work ethic is.”

Ngatai says the scholarship will give him a chance to positively impact the community and give back to his family.

“This scholarship means everything to me. Seeing how happy my family was when I told them showed me how much it means to them as well. It will help relieve some of the financial stress that my family faces each year.”

First Foundation CEO, Kirk Sargent says the scholarship sets up our future leaders for success.

“OCS’s commitment to funding the First Foundation Scholarship paves the way for aspiring talent like Rawiri, turning educational dreams into empowering realities that benefit both the individual and the wider community.”

OCS ANZ Managing Director, Gareth Marriott says awarding the scholarship is always a calendar highlight.

“The recipients often come from challenging backgrounds, but they are always bright with ambition, and have a desire to give back.”

Marriott says OCS has sponsored 11 students over the last nine years and each has become a valued member of the OCS family.

“It’s such a rewarding partnership. We look forward to seeing Rawiri grow and succeed in his next chapter.”

OCS Foundation: People into Work programme

What is the People into Work programme?

People into Work is a unique UK programme, developed by the OCS Foundation, which aims to change individuals’ lives for the better by bringing sustainable employment opportunities to local individuals who have been in long-term unemployment, are ex-serving personnel, or face specific mental health or physical challenges.

Our people are the heart of everything we do as a business and our people-centred approach is what allows us to deliver not only the best practices and best experiences for our customers, but the best place of work for our employees.

The programme has already supported over 290 people with their own employment journey, and over 50 people have been brought into sustainable employment within OCS to date.

Jeffrey’s story

OCS helped Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Jeffrey Akrasi return to work. With support from The Forces Employment Charity, Jeffrey obtained the necessary qualifications and is now a Deputy Contract Manager at WLNT NHS Trust.

“I came into the West London contract on January 22nd after serving three tours in the army. I transitioned my employment into OCS from FEC, a well-known forces employment charity. I’m looking forward to remaining in the OCS family and working to the company’s values.”

Group CEO, Rob Legge, outlines the OCS Best Strategy and Approach

The international facilities management landscape has been dominated by the same global players for a number of years. However, when OCS Group and Atalian Servest’s operations in the UK, Ireland, and Asia merged, it created a new company which had the potential to act as an industry leader and disruptor.

I have been involved in facilities management for close to three decades and it has become a real part of my DNA. Our merger earlier in 2023 was an opportunity to drive forward not only the business, but the entire industry. With our newly expanded, critical scale, we saw the opportunity to take stock of our purpose and values and ensure we were building the most compelling offering for our customers.

Our approach

When formulating a plan for the next phase of OCS’ journey, we established a collective vision of wanting to be the partner of choice in the industry, providing the most valuable service to any customer we worked with across each of our geographies. The culmination of this work was the formulation of OCS’ new strategy, BEST. It has been established to enhance how we serve our customers, empower our workforce, and contribute to the well-being of the communities we touch.

Today, our mission at OCS is clear: to make people and places the best they can be. We’ve embarked on this journey with the aim to create exceptional experiences, enhance productivity, refine our practices, foster communities, and ultimately, deliver outstanding outcomes. These aspects form the core of our strategy and are reinforced by our TRUE values.

Trust, Respect, Unity, and Empowerment—these values are the foundation of everything we do.

They guide our interactions with customers, colleagues, partners, and the communities we serve, ensuring a cohesive approach to our mission.

In an ever-evolving world, we believe that creating exceptional experiences is paramount. We understand that the value we bring is not just in our services but in the experiences we create. From a well-maintained office space that enhances productivity, to a clean and safe healthcare facility that promotes well-being, OCS is dedicated to improving every aspect of the human experience within the spaces we manage.

Our business is powered by best practice, consistency and our unique attention to detail. Ultimately, we will look to set the benchmark for our industry, harnessing the power of technology, innovation, and human expertise to create efficiencies for our customers.

However, this is not a one-step change but rather a continual process. To succeed in our mission, we must consistently look at improving our practices and ensure that our work aligns with the highest ethical and sustainability standards. Our commitment to best practices guarantees that we are not just compliant, but we set the standard for excellence in our industry.

Empowering our workforce

Overall, OCS is made up of 120,000 individuals, most of whom are workers on the frontline. These are the people who sit at the core of our business, and it is only by empowering them that we can truly thrive. We encourage our colleagues to take ownership, make decisions, and shape the future of our business. This not only elevates the service we provide, but also gives our workforce the opportunity to progress their careers in our business.

As a business we have a fundamental commitment to social mobility. We ensure we recruit from the widest possible talent pool; we offer each of our colleagues ongoing training to support their career progression and we foster and invest in a diverse and inclusive culture.

Serving communities

Last but not least, we consider ourselves integral parts of the communities we serve. Our goal is to create a positive impact on the people and places we touch, fostering a sense of belonging and well-being. We aspire to be responsible and sustainable members of every community we serve.

We adopt this mindset right the way through the business and are continuously looking to evolve our approach to each of the ‘E’, the ‘S’ and the ’G’. It runs from our 2040 net-zero commitment, down to the work we do to supporting the individual communities we work in across each of our geographies.

OCS’ BEST strategy and TRUE values are at the heart of our mission to make people and places the best they can be.

We also believe they will be fundamental to our future growth as a business and industry leader – our commitment to this strategy and our values sets the stage for us to set a new standard in the industry. OCS is in a unique position and is primed for growth. We are a dynamic business and it is my ambition to make this company the market leaders in the facilities management industry. Reflecting on the first 6 months of my role as Global CEO, I believe we have the team to deliver on this ambition.

 

Rob Legge, Group CEO

OCS Group launches OSC Academy to offer colleagues world-class training in data skills

OCS, a leading global facilities service provider, has invited employees from across its business to become part of its newly created OCS Academy which is designed to help develop vital data skills and support career progression. It forms part of the Group’s commitment to empowering its people, giving them the tools and support to thrive.

The training will be delivered by Multiverse, a tech company focused on high-quality education and training through applied learning. In an initial trial, 15 OCS colleagues will enrol on a 15-month data apprenticeship, with plans to expand this next year. This investment by OCS into these apprenticeships aims to improve data-driven decision-making and efficiency across the business, supporting clients and employees to deliver better outcomes.

It comes as research within the company found that most employees whose role requires some data analysis spend a considerable amount of time each week wrangling data. 91% of respondents said they wanted to improve their data skills.

Daniel Dickson, Chief Executive Officer, UK & Ireland, said: “As part of our OCS TRUE values, we are committed to ‘empowering our colleagues through excellent working environments’ and providing these opportunities for developing new skills, is key to that. Our colleagues are already using data heavily to inform their decisions and deliver results for customers, and this new training will empower them to do so more efficiently and effectively. Not only are these vital skills that will help them in their job, but they are skills that will support them throughout their careers.”

Euan Blair, CEO of Multiverse, said: “The OCS Academy has been designed to transform careers for the individuals that receive this world-class training while transforming their ability to make data-driven decisions and use technology to drive efficiency and results. Through meaningful, applied learning, apprentices at OCS will gain the relevant skills that will propel them forward in their career journey, and support them in their role today and in the future.”

Multiverse delivers world-class training in a wide range of qualifications in tech, data and engineering. Apprentices benefit from coaching with an industry expert and are supported by a thriving community with events, socials, mentoring and leadership programmes.