Employment and Skills



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

Offering quality experience of work, adopting new approaches to recruitment and breaking down barriers to entering work for people from disadvantaged groups. This can benefit business by tackling skills shortages, building new talent pipelines, boosting retention rates and achieving higher productivity.

Commit to making your organisation more accessible
to diverse talent and opening doors to refugees

Opening doors

Five keys to unlocking unemployment

  • Create partnerships that connect people from disadvantaged groups to your jobs. 
  • Show candidates that you are committed to inclusion. 
  • Make sure job descriptions and adverts are comprehensive and use inclusive language. 
  • Focus on the essential skills and capabilities that are needed for the job. 
  • Prioritise accessibility and eliminate bias. 

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

Our employment agenda

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

  • 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.  

Read our report ‘The Power of School Partnerships’ for insights and case studies to help your business have an impact on attainment within the curriculum.   

Contact us to discuss being part of the Education Taskforce.

Meet the Education Taskforce.

Essential Skills
  • Essential Skills are what we need to thrive in education, work and life. They are highly transferable skills like communication, problem solving and teamwork.  

We want to ensure that every individual in the UK recognises and develops their essential skills. We are asking businesses to:  

  • recognise essential skills among their workforce, using the common language of the Skills Builder Universal Framework 
  • develop essential skills in their current and future workforce using consistent language and steps from the Skills Builder Universal Framework 

Find out more about our advisory services that can support you in helping you recognise and develop essential skills through your business.   

Employment and the digital Responsible Business agenda

Our Brave New World report showed that the UK is facing a considerable and growing skills gap, from the need for highly-skilled data scientists to the 6.2 million people without the basic skills to regularly use the internet. Digital technologies have a great opportunity to democratise access to employment and to grow our economy, yet automation and new business models, such as those growing the ‘gig economy’, have potentially large impacts on our communities.

Business in the Community’s Responsible Digital Business programme seeks to work with our members to overcome these challenges and ensure that this digital transformation is ethical, sustainable and inclusive.

Job-coaching: supporting jobseekers with business-led coaching

Business in the Community’s (BITC) job coaching programme connects jobseekers with coaches from the UK’s leading businesses. The programme allows individuals to work directly with employers to refine their approach and access a unique network of engaged, responsible business contacts.  ​

How does it work?

  • Businesses join the programme by offering their employees the opportunity to become volunteer coaches.
  • Employee volunteers are trained as coaches, providing them with all the necessary tools and resources they need to support individuals in their search for employment.
  • Coaches are then matched with jobseekers to provide virtual, one-to-one support across six, 60 to 90-minute sessions.
  • Jobseekers will be supported to improve their skills, confidence and wellbeing in their search for employment.

Learn more about the business benefits and how your organisation can be involved.

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.  

Join our Future Skills and Good Work Taskforce to influence and champion our emerging work in this area.

People programmes: support for individuals 

Operating across the UK, BITC supports some of society’s most disadvantaged individuals into employment, education and training.  

  • Our national Job Coaching programme assists all ages with one-to-one business-led coaching: Learn of the business benefits and how your organisation can be involved.  
  • Our regional programmes focus on young people 18 to 29, refugees and asylum seekers, members of families, individuals moving on from homelessness and those over 50.  
  • Individuals will benefit from your business engagement, via one to one or group support during their job search and application process, provision of work placements and interviews for employment opportunities.  
People with criminal convictions 

One in three men in the UK has a criminal conviction1. Asking about criminal convictions at the initial stage of a job application creates a barrier for millions of people who seek work. Our 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 when it is necessary. By becoming a Ban the Box employer, you will: 

  • Get access to a wider, more diverse talent pool 
  • Save on recruitment costs
  • Increase reputational profile 

Join nearly 150 employers by signing up to Ban the Box.