AmicusHorizon - Contractor and Supplier Giving Back Scheme and Motiv8

The Unipart Inspiring Young Talent Award, Winner (Small Company) 2016

AmicusHorizon is a large housing association which wants to support its residents into work and build stronger communities. Stronger communities house better residents so everybody wins. 

What the judges said

  • AmicusHorizon demonstrated an outreach approach from which other businesses could learn.
  • The programme is an exemplification of what BITC is about – business understanding the needs of the community and using their strengths to support them.
  • Relative for its size, AmicusHorizon has a disproportionate impact in the communities in which it is based and uses a very targeted approach to outreach which gives fantastic results.

Good for society and for business

  • The programmes are addressing exclusion by engaging young disadvantaged people with more visible and accessible employment support.
  • The CSGBS scheme is building better accessibility to skills, experiences and jobs opportunities with supply chain business partners.
  • The links between local businesses and young people living on AmicusHorizon estates are being strengthened. This is good for business and good for residents.
  • Unemployment among residents is being reduced and this is helping to build stronger communities.

AmicusHorizon logo

Overview

AmicusHorizon looks after some large social housing estates many in some of the poorest parts of London and South East. The Housing Association aims to unlock potential and inspire unemployed residents with two schemes.

The Contractor and Supplier Giving Back Scheme (CSGBS) encourages the company’s suppliers to make work opportunities available to disadvantaged young people.

The Motiv8 young persons’ development programme is a development and jobs support programme, which offers mentors and entry level training.

AmicusHorizon works with a number of suppliers and these companies often have job vacancies which would suit residents. The association recognised that there was little coordination in how these opportunities were presented and this meant residents often missed out. 

Young people in disadvantaged households face high levels of poverty and social exclusion. They often face barriers to training and have difficulty finding work because of a lack in their support networks, skills or experience.

The path into employment was not always clear and the housing association realised that some young people needed entry level work to give them a starting point for their career progression. These stepping stone experiences could be signposted by AmicusHorizon and the association’s staff could take on effective mentoring and coaching roles.

So far 342 young people have benefited directly from the programmes with 148 finding work.

AmicusHorizon’s approach links young persons’ support work with commercial expertise. This means that talent is better matched with the actual job market. 

Background

AmicusHorizon is a large housing association and its mission is to make homes and help people. It is committed to unlocking potential for the business it works with and the people it houses. The association manages nearly 28,000 homes across London, Kent and Sussex, offering a range of different housing choices including affordable homes, shared ownership and Extra Care.

AmicusHorison prides itself in being the number one performing landlord in the UK for residents’ satisfaction. Young people's attitudes have a large influence on customer perceptions. 

The association practices what it preaches and so actively seeks young people from its estates to join its own workforce. These young people help shape its services for a next generation of diverse customers, including driving changes in business communication and social media tools. 

Supply chain involvement

10% of AmicusHorizon tenants aged between 18 and 24 are not accessing education, jobs or training. They are excluded and isolated and have employment levels significantly lower than national average.

AmicusHorizon encourages local firms to actively provide opportunities for these young residents. So far, 30 local firms have opened up opportunities, and AmicusHorizon hopes to increase this to 50 businesses in the near future

Involving supply chain businesses has seen sustained joint work across community development, procurement and contract client management teams. The give back scheme has become an item in contact negotiations for AmicusHorizon.

The housing association is also more connected with strategic partners, Princes’ Trust Talent Match, London Youth, Tomorrows People, and is forging greater expertise on career pathways for excluded youngsters. 

Managing the programme 

The progress of the project is overseen by the Strategic Board and the Senior Executive Team and delivery is monitored by the senior managers’ Operational Performance Team. The Programme Team (job brokers and youth workers) have monthly work plan reviews to make sure everything is running as smoothly as possible. 

There are also resident panels and a youth forum to ensure the community has proper input into the project’s growth. Residents helped design the programme and regularly review progress.

What the Chair of the Judges said:

“Captures the essence of what BITC is about. A business using all of its business relationships to engage in a customised way to the needs of the community and creating a transformational change for young people in the community. A disproportionate impact from a relatively small company." - John Neill, CEO, Unipart

What AmicusHorizon's CEO said:

“I’m delighted to endorse our initiative. It accelerates a direct relationship between young residents and business opportunities creating real added value. 

It’s a fantastic example of the AmicusHorizon ethos of delivering brilliant service in response to community needs.  We’re showing practical local leadership, aligning employer expertise and opportunities with the talents of young residents.

Perhaps most importantly we’re creating a network of personal relationships between business mentors and young people.

We’re setting a strong giving back business culture. We’re taking effective action to transform young lives in some of the South East’s most disadvantaged communities” - Paul Hackett, Chief Executive, AmicusHorizon

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