Employment remains the key to prosperity in our communities, and this award category recognises the vital role the corporate sector plays in supporting unemployed people from the most disadvantaged groups to build successful working lives.
There are approximately 2.5 million unemployed people in the UK, of whom over 1/3 have been unemployed for more than one year. The cost to society of this is vast and long term unemployment is a major contributing factor in child poverty, ill health, re-offending and homelessness, all of which play a role in perpetuating the cycle of unemployment.
Individuals who have been out of work for a prolonged period of time, who face barriers to work, who need support and practical training to gain and sustain employment will find it even more difficult to get into work in the current job market.
This award seeks to recognise companies who have made a priority of supporting adults from disadvantaged groups to increase their employability and gain and sustain work.
Successful entries will be able to show evidence of how the company measures and evaluates the positive impacts on the business as well as the difference made to the target groups through the delivery of a strategic work inclusion programme.
Programme activities may include training initiatives, work placements and targeted recruitment drives that seek to develop sustained employment opportunities from disadvantaged groups who may fall into one, or more of the following categories: long term unemployed, homeless, ex-offenders, people with disabilities, refugees, lone parents, care leavers etc (this list is not exhaustive).