JTI (Japan Tobacco International) – JTI and Crisis: delivering life changing learning and employability services to end homelessness

The Freshfields Work Inclusion Award, Finalist 2015, Reaccredited 2016.

JTI and its employees supported Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people, by delivering learning and employability services to help people into education, training and, ultimately, long-term employment.

Social impacts

  • 650 Crisis members went into sustained employment, resulting in public savings of £11.6 million.
  • 1,211 participants entered further education or educational or vocational training while 353 improved their employability through volunteering.
  • Participants in the programme achieved a total of 2,623 accredited qualifications.

Business impacts

  • 152 JTI employees increased their skills through volunteering at Crisis. JTI has a formal programme in place which records, evaluates, recognises and rewards these skills.
  • Employee involvement in the programme is regarded as an alternative learning and development opportunity.
  • 83% of JTI employees surveyed said they felt pride and a greater level of commitment to JTI as a result of its community investment activities.

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JTI has been working in partnership with Crisis since 2008 to deliver education and employability services to homeless and vulnerably housed adults. The programme is set to continue with JTI funding it until at least 2017.

Building basic skills to break the cycle of homelessness.

The number of people facing homelessness has risen sharply, yet only a tiny percentage of homeless people are in paid employment. Most want to work but one of the biggest barriers is a lack of basic qualifications, education or skills.

The experience of homelessness de-skills and isolates people, reducing their confidence and self-esteem. The education programme has been able to help people develop their skills and support them back into employment. It also helps people to rediscover their potential and sense of purpose, enabling them to break the cycle of homelessness and move into a position of stability.

To date, the partnership has delivered a total of 13,052 classes to 5,543 learners. These include numeracy, literacy and IT classes as well as skills and employability classes. The programme also includes ten major events where work-ready Crisis members are given guidance and direction to help them re-enter the work place.

Classes have been held in London since 2008 and are now also offered in Coventry and Warwickshire and in Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

Employee volunteering from the shopfloor to the boardroom

JTI employees are actively engaged in the programme through an employee volunteering skills programme. Since 2008, 152 JTI employees have volunteered at Crisis. Senior managers regularly volunteer with Crisis and strongly encourage others to do so.

The programme inputs, outputs and impacts are agreed between the two parties, along with a monitoring process. Crisis tracks progress quarterly against targets and there are regular review meetings and written programme reports.

The homeless and vulnerably housed adults who access Crisis’ services are known as Crisis Members. Involving members is a core Crisis principle and a Member Involvement Co-ordinator ensures this happens, through a Member Involvement Forum (suggestions and feedback monthly), Member Feedback Forms (at the end of each course) and strategic involvement through a National Members’ Forum.

What JTI UK's Managing Director said:

“We don’t just believe in supporting our employees to reach their potential; it is important for our company to operate in an environment in which everyone can. I am incredibly proud of the work Crisis is doing to give those who are homeless and vulnerably housed practical support to enter the workplace. I am also proud that so many of JTI’s employees get personally involved with Crisis’ work through our skills based volunteering programme.” - Daniel Torras, Managing Director UK

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