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

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.

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.”

Women in Security ISIA Award Winners 2022

OCS Ireland were proud recipients of this years Irish Security Industry Association (ISIA) Women in Security Award.

OCS Ireland is unique within the Security and FM Industry as our senior leadership team has an equal 50% female representation. Additionally, our business is led by a female Managing Director, Aine Mulcahy and our Security Division is also led by another successful and professional female Lorraine O’Neill, Director of Security Services.

OCS work hard to be the employer of choice for women seeking a new career or opportunity within the security industry and all FM sectors. We do this by investing in our people and identifying existing female talent within the organisation.

Well done to everyone involved and congratulations.