Freshfields' Dragon Award for work on employability

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP have won the Enterprise & Employment Award at this year’s Lord Mayors Dragon Awards for its work with Business in the Community (BITC)’s Ready for Work programme.

The recognition comes after Freshfields demonstrated a real and lasting commitment to the work inclusion agenda through their work with BITC, supporting those who are homeless, ex-offenders and other individuals who are furthest removed from the labour market.

Freshfields and Ready for Work

Freshfields offer work placements, job coaching and a number of employability workshops to the beneficiaries of Ready for Work. As a result of the programme, over half of those have entered employment after a work placement with Freshfields, with 80 per cent of those sustaining employment for at least six months.

Freshfields were one of the first companies to sign up to the Ban the Box campaign – created to promote employer's recruitment of ex-offenders through a fairer application process. Employment reduces the chance of reoffending by up to 50%, so the firm’s support has been invaluable in helping people leaving prison to make a valuable contribution to society. 

Engaging on this issue has led to a firm-wide policy change, opening up the recruitment process so individuals are assessed solely on their talent, skills, and ability.

Attract and retain a diverse workforce

Commenting on the achievement, Lauren O’Leary, Head of Employability and Employee Volunteering at Business in the Community said, "We are delighted that Freshfields have been recognised at The 2015 Lord Mayors Dragon’s Awards. Since launching the programme, the organisation has embedded Ready for Work as a key part of their business. This has enabled them to attract a diverse workforce and retain that workforce, as 90% of Freshfields staff report an increased commitment to the firm as a result of their involvement with the Ready for Work programme."  

Employers in London who are keen to partner with Business in the Community in supporting disadvantaged people gain and sustain employment can contact Lauren O’Leary, Head of Employability and Employee Volunteering at BITC.

Find out more about Ban the Box and the companies that have already committed to a fairer recruitment process.

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