Family Business of the YearBack to Winners
Sponsored by Gallagher Group
Walker Construction was founded by brothers Hector, Stephen and Raymond Walker in north London, in 1965. Initially specialising in paving, the business now focuses on rail, building and civil engineering and is based in Ashford.
Clients have ranged from the Ministry of Defence and National Rail to schools and hospitals. The business aims to be largely self-sufficient, to provide clients with a “seamless service”.
With 250 employees, Walker Construction is committed to high-quality training. This can be anything from health and safety to mental health and wellbeing. Free counselling is available to all workers, and 10% are trained in mental health first aid.
Equality and diversity has also become a vital part of the Walker ethos.
Business development and marketing specialist, Charlotte Watts, said: “Construction is plagued with stereotypes and we believe training is key to driving culture change. Since our push for diversity, we have seen our job applicant pool expanding, have improved efficiency on more diverse sites and our order book has grown significantly.”
Walker Construction ensures sites are actively reducing their waste and recycling when possible.
A charitable trust has also been launched by the company, with staff volunteering at homeless shelters and hosting community Q&A sessions.
School engagement is critical to the business, due to a threat of skills shortage in the industry, and more than 20 school visits have taken place in the last two years. Miss Watts added: “The marketplace has changed quite drastically in our 55 years. We have proven adaptability and a zealous nature to constantly learn and improve.”