Economic sustainability means two things for Berkeley. Firstly, it's about running our business successfully for the long-term. Secondly, it's about the economic impact we have on local communities and the wider economy. Through our contribution to economic output, job creation, tax and investment, Berkeley has the potential to help sustain growth. Housing is also important because of its contribution to labour mobility and reducing unemployment, particularly among young or unskilled workers.
In 2015 we commissioned a report by Ernst & Young to examine our economic impact more closely. They found that during 2015 the Berkeley Group supported 26,000 jobs in the UK. Each new home we built sustained over 5 jobs across the UK. Berkeley also contributed £2.1 billion to Britain's GDP in 2015.
Berkeley contributes to the UK public finances both through the taxes it pays directly and the taxes paid by its suppliers and customers. In total, between 2010 and 2015, Berkeley has contributed £1.8bn to the Treasury through direct and wider taxation.
Berkeley's current principal focus is on providing employment opportunities both on our sites and in our supply chain. This is in recognition of skills shortage that faces the industry and the challenge to encourage young people to work in the industry. Skills and training continue to be a key focus area for us where we recognise the importance of recruiting and training people of all ages and giving them the skills they need to pursue and build on a successful career in construction.
Our business strategy and the Our Vision plan for the business set a number of other commitments on economic sustainability. These include:
Ensuring at least 1,500 people across our direct and indirect workforce undertake an apprenticeship or vocational training
Paying at least the Living Wage Foundation's 'Living Wage' to all direct employees
Supporting the Berkeley Job Creation Programme
Retaining our financial strength and independence, so that Berkeley is safe and can deliver on all its commitments
Investing in our land bank, and achieving superior returns on Shareholder Equity for a given level of risk