Copper expresses our deep condolences to the Royal Family. The Queen has given immeasurable service to the United Kingdom, and will never be forgotten.

Copper’s programme of webinars with experts across our industry is continuing with a bumper September.

From freeports and decarbonisation to data and local transport, we’ll be joined by some fantastic panellists.

Thursday 08 September, 12.30pm: The future of infrastructure – what can we learn from other industries about data?

Join us for a panel discussion bringing together experts from outside the infrastructure industry to look at what applications, techniques and thinking we can borrow to better use data to understand our audiences and connect us with the people that infrastructure serves. Sign up here.

Tuesday 13 September, 2pm: Preparing to shift gears – accelerating the delivery of local transport schemes

The latest in our sustainable travel webinar series where we’ll discuss the next steps for transport projects in the UK, including how to overcome barriers to delivery and a shift away from large, strategic transport projects to local schemes. Sign up here.

Wednesday 14 September, 11am: Decarbonising the built environment – exploring the role construction plays in the race to net zero

A panel made up of several disciplines and hosted by the Green Alliance, we’ll unpack changing policy, whole-life carbon, greening roads and net zero targets and what it means for the construction industry. Sign up here.

Thursday 15 September, 11am: Freeports – what’s next for government’s flagship idea

Government’s plans for freeports are set to create national hubs for global trade and investment, hotbeds for innovation and an opportunity to level up communities around the UK. Successful freeport bidders are now creating business cases with formal designation expected later in 2022. Join us in talking to industry experts about what’s next for freeports. Sign up here.

  • Engagement with infrastructure projects across the UK is generally low, with nearly 1 in two people (49.2%) saying that they have never taken part in a consultation about local services, issues or projects. 
  • People who have lived in their property for a year or less are more likely to have taken part in a consultation within the last five months than someone who has lived at their property for 10years or more. 

Today (04 August 2022), Copper Consultancy released the final report in its latest three-part Attitudes series. The report explores the connection between “belonginess” and closeness to community with levels of engagement with infrastructure projects.  

Findings show that the closer and more connected someone feels to their community, the more likely they are to participate in consultations about local, issues, services and projects.   

The report, title ‘Does community matter?’, uses several questions to identify how close people feel to their community, including questions about how much they trust other people in their community, if people feel they can influence things locally and how actively engaged they are with their local area.  

Data shows that those who have higher levels of trust; feel they have more influence about decisions in their local area people; and report that they are active members of their local area are far more likely to engage than the national average.  

Based on a nationally representative UK sample of 4,004 respondents, 49.2% said that they never taken part in a consultation about local services, issues or projects. This figure dropped to 40.4% for people who said they trust people in their local area, dropped further (35.2%) for those who said that they feel like they have influence over things that happen in their local area, and dropped further still (20.1%) for those who said they were active members of their community.   

The report also explored If time spent living in a property contributed to engagement, with surprising results.  

Data suggests that those who have lived at their property for less than a year are the most likely to have taken part in a consultation about local services, Issues or projects. 62.2% of people surveyed who had been in their property for less than a year said that they had taken part in a local consultation within the last five months. Whereas only 14.5% of those who have lived at their property for 10 years or more said they had taken part in a local consultation within the last 5 months.  

Annabel John, Director of Strategic Communications & Creative at Copper Consultancy, reflected on the series of reports saying: “This series of reports confirmed some things that we knew, challenged some deep-rooted perceptions which we thought to be truth and uncovered insights and intelligence that will help reshape the way we engage with people and communities in support of our clients.

“The value of investing in research to better understand audiences and stakeholders cannot be overlooked and if we were to take one thing away from this work, it would be that it’s time we started communicating with people as people, taking account of their differences, traits and behaviours, rather than thinking of them as sections of the planning act.”  

You can read the full report here

The third in our three-part Attitudes series exploring how different people think and feel about infrastructure.

  • Age does not necessarily correlate with levels of involvement with local issues.
  • Only 24% of the UK population are actively engaged with projects that impact in their local area.
  • Younger people are more likely to engage with projects as a result of increased use of digital.

Copper Consultancy has today (28 July 2022) released the second of three reports in its Attitudes series. The new report looks at the impact of age on levels of engagement in infrastructure projects and shows that the correlation between age and engagement is not as strong as expected.

A common assumption in the infrastructure industry is that individuals who typically engage with planning applications and consultations are from an older age demographic. However, Copper’s research, informed by a nationally representative survey of 4,004 people, tells a different story.

The report “Does age matter?” found little correlation between the age of individuals and their level of engagement with projects impacting their local area. Around 40% of people between the ages of 16 and 45 say they would get involved if there was a problem in their local area – this dropped to around 30% for older age demographics.

In fact, younger demographics were more likely than older people to consider themselves an active member of their local area. This was further evidenced when respondents were asked how often they take part in local consultations. Over 50% of people aged between 16-24 said they had engaged with consultation about local services or issues in the last 5 months, for individuals over 55 this fell to 14.61%

Increased engagement from younger age groups is an encouraging sign for our industry, but Copper urges caution to those considering pivoting towards wholly digital consultation.

The uptake of digital communication methods, like virtual meetings and consultation spaces, following the pandemic has increased the number of engagement tools at our disposal, but digital is not a panacea for low levels of engagement. Providing engagement opportunities for younger demographics to engage through digital means needs to be one element of a multifaceted approach to engagement – a one size fits all approach could lead to a lack of representation of older people in the built environment.

Annabel John, Strategic Communications and Creative Director at Copper Consultancy said: “Our new report shows the link between age and involvement with projects is not a strong as we previously thought. This shows the value of using data and statistics to uncover deeper insights into the various audiences we engage with.

“Our insight suggests projects should combine digital engagement and traditional approaches to achieve greater reach. In doing so, we can encourage better inclusivity and representativeness of the views and opinions we collect during the application and consultation process.”

Copper Consultancy is constantly seeking to build an even deeper understanding of the infrastructure industry by investing time and resources to understand how people think and feel about the built environment that serves them.

Copper’s ‘Attitudes’ series of reports are designed to take a deep dive into the UK population to better understand audiences and help clients create the legacy that projects wish to leave behind.

You can read the full report here.

The second in our three-part Attitudes series exploring how different people think and feel about infrastructure.

The first in our three-part Attitudes series exploring how different people think and feel about infrastructure.

Copper abides by a fundamental principle: we build understanding before we act.

We’ve measured public attitudes to infrastructure for over five years, seeking to build a picture of the perception of infrastructure and development in the UK. We’ve looked at everything from what people think about net zero and solar energy, to the public’s understanding of freeports and attitudes to infrastructure in Brexit Britain.

We are constantly seeking to build an even deeper understanding of our industry and invest time and resources to understand our clients’ audiences because we care about the challenges people face and the legacy that projects wish to leave behind. Above all, we seek to understand what people think and feel about the infrastructure that serves them.

That’s why in the latest of our Attitudes series we’ve taken a different approach. We’ve taken a deep dive into the UK population to unearth the attributes, attitudes and willingness of people to engage with projects affecting the built environment. Using information derived from an in-depth research project into the UK population, we’re launching a report series that tests:

  • Hypothesis 1 – are people more likely to engage with projects if they are more knowledgeable about infrastructure and the built environment?
  • Hypothesis 2 – are older people more likely to engage with infrastructure projects?
  • Hypothesis 3 – does a person’s sense of connection to their local area impact how likely they are to engage with infrastructure projects?

In this three-part series of attitudes reports (released over the next two weeks), we’ll explore our hypotheses and identify some of the elements that lead to higher levels of engagement in our sector.

What is Audience Segmentation?

Alongside the reports, we’ve carried out a study on the UK population to develop a deeper insight into what people think and feel about the infrastructure that serves them. The purpose is to categorise the population into segments to identify people’s key drivers and behaviour patterns to help shape the best ways to communicate.

Marketing professionals have used audience segmentation since the 1950s and the concept is a simple one: people are different. We all have different wants, needs, attitudes and behaviours and, therefore, we should employ different approaches to move people to “action”.

Traditionally, “actions” might relate to consumer behaviours like buying a product, but audience segmentation is used increasingly across a wide range of sectors, from B2B marketing to election campaigns.

While no two people are the same, there are inevitable demographic, geographic, attitudinal and behavioural commonalities across the UK population. By collecting a large enough sample size, and employing advanced statistical analysis techniques, we’ve identified patterns in our data to group people based on shared characteristics and responses.

Grouping people in this way provides insights into how different people think and behave, and this approach provides us with layers of information that we can use to tailor our communication and engagement strategies around infrastructure and development projects, helping to differentiate content and messaging and select communication channels to better resonate with different audiences.

To find out how our data could help your project, get in touch with annabel.john@copperconsultancy.com or james.hillier@copperconsultancy.com

World Youth Skills Day celebrates the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment and entrepreneurship.  

The construction industry is faced with a skills shortage, statistics from CITB show the need for an additional 200,000 staff in the construction industry by 2025. As an industry it’s paramount that we not only focus on young talent programmes in the construction space, but also ensure that the skills gap can be addressed by supplying young workforces with innovative and valuable training. 

We’ve been reflecting on our work to support and upskill young talent within our Construction Practice by talking with Teri Preston, Senior Account Executive.  

Prior to joining Copper, Teri completed a Project Management apprenticeship and was named Apprentice of the Year at her previous organisation.  Since joining Copper, we’ve been supporting Teri with her professional development and providing Teri with the autonomy and opportunities to support successful project delivery whilst enhancing her strategic communication skills as a consultant within Copper. 

‘Since joining Copper Consultancy, I’ve been working on a variety of projects within the Construction Practices portfolio to broaden my knowledge across different sectors within the construction space. Being able to work on some of the most exciting construction projects in the UK has allowed me to develop strategic communication skills across the industry whilst futureproofing my career. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a group of motivational people daily, whether that be clients or within Copper, I’ve recognised the importance of having a young talent perspective to aid with the delivery of successful project outcomes.’ 

‘Having the opportunity to continue my professional development is something which I’m really passionate about, I’m grateful to be working in an organisation which actively supports my ambitions and future career.’  

At Copper, we’ve been lucky enough to see first-hand how our clients have been working with young talent to support successful project delivery. For example, our client Murphy Group, who strive to have 10% of employees to be emerging talent and are recruiting over 70 apprentices every year, have been upskilling young people to address the construction skills gap by offering a range of trade and professional apprenticeship schemes. 

At Murphy, people are at the heart of our business, and true to our value of being ‘One Murphy’ we are committed to creating a collaborative work environment where there are plenty of exciting opportunities for young people to learn and grow in the Murphy family. We’re passionate about equipping young people with skills for employment. Graduates and apprentices are key to our success as a business, bringing fresh ways of thinking, innovative ideas and a real energy to deliver successfully across our projects.’ – Dawn Moore, Group People Director at Murphy Group.  

At Copper, we understand how young talent continually adds value to the world of work and provides innovative solutions that produce successful outcomes. It is paramount that businesses continue to provide a pivotal role in supporting young people moving into work after education and we must continue developing and upskilling young talent to address the skills gap in the construction industry. 

Whether you join us as an intern or with a few years’ experience, you’ll benefit from training comprising of bespoke skills and behavioural based courses and coaching with experts. If you are keen to learn more about careers at Copper, we’d love to hear from you: careers@copperconsultancy.com