The Unipart Outstanding Employment Award: Gowling WLG

Award Type: 

Longlisted for Business in the Community's Unipart Outstanding Employment Award 2019.

Gowling WLG’s multi-pronged effort to get disadvantaged people back into work, including a charity providing interview outfits.
 
Ralph used to work in a senior role in IT. He left work to care for his mother who subsequently died. Ralph was out of work for a long time, lost his confidence and was facing the threat of homelessness.
 
It is people like Ralph that Gowling WLG, an international law firm, helps through its Breaking Down Barriers initiative, a multi-faceted programme that gives people access to employment, as well as supporting those already in jobs to stay in them, thus preventing homelessness.
 
Through Business in the Community’s (BITC) Ready for Work (RfW) scheme, which helps disadvantaged people gain jobs, the business has provided 34 placements in the past three years. Since BITC started to provide placements through RfW, 40% of participants have gained employment as a result, including six at Gowling WLG itself in recent years.
 
Meanwhile, the Suited for Success charity that Gowling WLG helped to create, helps unemployed people with interview skills and suitable outfits. Since January 2017, the charity has helped to prepare 632 people for work. About 60% of people who have received helped – whether in the form of interview clothing, workshops or mock interview sessions – have gone on to get a job.
 
While the prime motivation is not financial, recruiting staff through RfW has saved the business £2,500 in recruitment costs. Breaking Down Barriers has also helped to boost corporate responsibility at the company.
 
Information in this case study has been supplied by Gowling WLG