Employment and Skills - Business in the Community

Employment and Skills


Inspire, head full of ideas depicting the start of the journey to meaningful employment


Dark blue hands in a clasp on white back ground representing hiring, the second stage in the journey to meaningful employment .



Creating meaningful employment is one of the most significant ways that businesses can contribute to the livelihoods of individuals and communities, and is, for many the only sustainable route out of poverty.

Offering quality work experience, adopting inclusive approaches to recruitment, and breaking down barriers to entering work for people from disadvantaged groups can benefit businesses by helping them tackle skills shortages, build new talent pipelines, boost retention rates and achieve higher productivity.

    Our employment agenda to create meaningful employment

    Our campaigns harness the collective power of businesses to overcome disadvantages by increasing access to good, sustainable, and meaningful employment.

    Our work is organised around Inspire, Hire, Grow, Business in the Community’s (BITC’s) Employment Framework. Originally developed to support our work on youth employment, it was subsequently broadened out to help businesses think more strategically about their jobs and skills offer.

    The Framework identifies three distinct stages:

    • Inspire: pre-employment support
    • Hire: removing barriers in recruitment processes
    • Grow: in-work support.

    This concept provides a broad overview of interventions that support disadvantaged groups into sustainable, good work.

    Download our toolkit How to Inspire, Hire and Grow Diverse talent.

    Our work across Inspire, Hire, Grow is shaped by our Employment and Skills Leadership Team, which is comprised of senior business leaders. The Leadership Team co-create and champion BITC’s strategy for education, employment and skills, helping us to ensure that we have a clear vision and shared goal for the collective impact we want to achieve

    Inspire, Hire, Grow

    Inspire: Engage and motivate the future workforce through impactful education partnerships and pre-employment programmes such as BITC’s Job Coaching programme.


    We want to increase the impact of employers’ education programmes and partnerships to ensure that no young person is left behind, and that the disadvantage gap widened by COVID is once again reduced.  

    Job-coaching: supporting jobseekers with business-led coaching

    Our job coaching programme connects jobseekers with coaches from the UK’s leading businesses. The programme allows individuals to work directly with employers to access a unique network of engaged, responsible business contacts.

    Hire: Adopt inclusive recruitment practices to build a diverse workforce.

    Opening Doors

    We aim to make 2 million jobs more inclusive by 2025 through our Opening Doors campaign. We have identified five keys to unlocking unemployment and creating meaningful employment, each of which is underpinned by several specific actions. Businesses are asked to commit to taking forward a minimum of three specific actions to make their recruitment processes more inclusive.

    Ban the Box

    Ban the Box calls on employers to create a fair opportunity for people with convictions by removing the tick box from application forms and asking about criminal convictions later in the recruitment process if and when it becomes necessary. Signing up to Ban the Box is now one of the actions included in our Opening Doors campaign.

    Grow: Create a culture of lifelong learning, supporting all employees to participate in upskilling opportunities.

    Lifelong Learning

    We want to ensure that work provides opportunities for lifelong learning for all so that no one is left behind by transformation. We increase social mobility by breaking the cycle of low skills/low pay.  

    Essential Skills

    Essential skills are highly transferable skills like communication, problem-solving and teamwork. To face the challenges ahead, employers, alongside educators and the Government, must commit to recognising and developing essential skills in their talent pipeline and their existing workforce.

    Time to Act report

    Time to Act - addressing the inequalities in education that need to be addressed to lead to meaningful employment.

    Addressing inequalities in education.

    Four critical areas of focus for businesses that want to
    engage with education to drive sustainable
    and meaningful change

    An image of people gathered round a laptop smiling and talking about meaningful employment.
    Guidelines to Help UK Businesses Employ Refugees

    Simple steps that companies can take to enable refugees to gain employment and build their skills, benefiting companies
    and the UK economy.

    Image of a person sitting working out finances and thinking about meanngful employment.
    The Power of School Partnerships

    How businesses have enhanced the curriculum to improve life outcomes for young people 

    An image of people gathered round a laptop smiling and talking about meaningful employment.
    How to Inspire, Hire and Develop Diverse Talent

    Practical guidance to help businesses inspire future talent, develop inclusive recruitment processes

    Contact us

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    at BITC

    Work fairer, greener, together

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    Join Business in
    the Community

    Frequently Askes Questions (FAQs)

    The Business in the Community inclusive recruitment Opening doors campaign identifies five keys to unlocking employment to ensure that jobs are accessible to all.

    BITC is asking businesses to participate in the campaign by identifying at least three specific actions to take forward over the next three years and share the progress with BITC.

    The actions should be selected from the list that underpins the five principles, developed in consultation with a broad range of charities that support the disadvantaged groups targeted by this campaign.  

    Learn more about the five keys to inclusive recruitment

    There is no cost to becoming an Opening Doors Employer, and the campaign is open to all employers – Business in the Community members and non-members.