Opening Doors To Diverse Talent: 1.1 Million Jobs In Two Years - Business in the Community

Opening Doors To Diverse Talent: 1.1 Million Jobs In Two Years

Post author image. Kate Carr
In February 2022 Business in the Community (BITC) launched Opening Doors, our flagship inclusive recruitment campaign, with the ambition of making two million jobs more inclusive and accessible to diverse talent by 2025.

The campaign provides a framework to help employers implement more inclusive hiring practices and was created in collaboration with organisations who aim to support jobseekers into work, such as the RNIB, Youth Employment UK and Generation. Two years on and 67 employers have committed to taking an incredible 600 actions, resulting in making 1.1 million jobs more inclusive.

While there’s still a year to go before the end of the campaign, we reflect below on some of the businesses that have already signed up and have made considerable progress towards their commitments.

Businesses Delivering on Commitment to Inclusive Hiring:

Heathrow:  Through its partnership with Jobcentre Plus, Heathrow began advertising to local long-term unemployed jobseekers, one of its primary target groups. Since 2022, Heathrow has offered over 800 jobs to residents in and around West London.

Thames Water: Working closely with organisations that support disadvantaged job seekers such as Drive Forward Foundation, Aspire Oxford and Working Chance, Thames Water managed to exceed its year-end target of 120 hires by March 2023.

JTI UK: One key target group for JTI UK is ex-veterans and their spouses.­­­ In partnership with Mission Motorsport and Recruit for Spouses, JTI established its Inspiring and Hiring programme for veterans and their families, offering career workshops and work placements. Through these partnerships, JTI identified hiring practices that could be made more inclusive for veterans, such as making job descriptions more accessible, and guaranteeing interviews for ex-military candidates who meet the essential criteria. As a result, JTI UK has been awarded the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for its support to the defence and armed forces community.

Deloitte: One of Deloitte’s ambitions is to support more neurodiverse jobseekers into the business. In 2022, they launched two interactive learning guides on neurodiversity for recruiters. Designed by resourcing professionals and neurodiversity experts, the guides help recruiters improve their skill set and confidence when engaging with neurodiverse candidates. Since their launch, 100% of Deloitte employees who’ve been through the training say that they feel more confident talking to a neurodiverse candidate about their strengths and support needs as a result.

No one has cracked inclusive recruitment. No matter how much we do, we can always do a little more, move a little faster, or be a little bolder. 

– Kate Carr, Employment and Skills Manager

The Power of Diversity in Business

Inclusive recruitment isn’t just the ‘right thing to do’ from a moral perspective, as businesses are increasingly recognising that a diverse workforce makes good business sense. More than 90% of Opening Doors employers cite ‘increasing the diversity of the workforce’ as the key driver for signing up to the campaign, while nearly 50% believe it will help them to address their skills shortages.

There’s one year left of the campaign and at least another 1 million jobs we want to make more inclusive through it. Heathrow, Thames Water, JTI UK and Deloitte – and the other 63 Opening Doors employers – show that better is within our grasp. If you haven’t already committed to Opening Doors, find out how the campaign can support your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (EDI) ambitions.

    Three images representing an inclusive workforce.


    The process is similar to expressing interest in the Opening Doors campaign. Navigate to the form on the link below. Complete and submit, and a team member will contact you to discuss next steps.

    Express your interest and commitment at
    Opening Doors for Refugees

    BITC members benefit from a range of support to help them achieve the campaign asks,
    including the following:

    • Advisory services – topics include inclusion, partnerships & social impact
    • Employment programmes
      ● Job Coaching – (national)
      ● STEP programme supporting Refugees (Yorkshire & Humber, Bristol and
      Coventry) Y&H – Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford
    • Content – Inclusive Employment toolkit, case studies and best practice guides
    • Events – webinars, peer learning forums, leadership roundtables
    • Regions & nations – connecting to partners & responding to local need
      Don’t hesitate to contact your BITC Relationship Manager for more details.

      For more information, please email the Opening Doors campaign team

      Complete and submit this form

      Once you have submitted your expression of interest, a member of
      the team at BITC will share the campaign sign-up form. You will be asked to tell us:

      • which actions you will be taking forward (minimum of three from across the five keys )
      • an estimate of the number of roles that will be impacted by each action
      • the anticipated date of completion.

        We ask for this information so we can provide support to help you take action and track
        progress towards our goal of two million roles influenced by the campaign.