- UK outsourcing company MITIE receives an Innovation award for improving the employability skills of people who face barriers back to work
- First European Employee Volunteering Awards held in the UK
- 98 of the 200 who have taken part in the programme have been offered permanent jobs at MITIE and other employers
- Plans to extend the scheme following its success in London and Glasgow
On 17 March, winners of the first European Employee Volunteering Awards 2011, were announced at an exclusive reception held at The Business Design Centre. The awards are organised by Business in the Community and co-funded by the European Commission and are closely aligned to the European Year of Volunteering 2011.
MITIE Group PLC was crowned winner in the Innovation category for The Real Apprentice Programme. Its twelve-week operational programme works to break down barriers and help the long-term unemployed and people with a physical or mental disability back into the world of work.
The programme comprises five main parts, which range from face to face interviews to managing a budget and working beside personnel from MITIE. It targets people who are unemployed and are facing barriers to work because of their disabilities, or for being homeless or single parents on benefits. The programme has achieved excellent results, with 197 people taking part, 134 completing and 98 receiving permanent job offers.
Ruby McGregor-Smith, Chief Executive MITIE Group PLC commented:
“We are very proud of this ground-breaking programme, which helps people to find employment and really has changed the futures of the people who take part. Not only is there a social and moral case for working together to make a difference to peoples’ lives, but there’s also a solid business case. The Real Apprentice is about people helping people, and we encourage all individuals and organisations to get involved.”
The European Employee Volunteering Awards process has drawn company submission from 22 countries which demonstrate how effective collaboration, particularly between civil society organisation and private enterprise, can be when all sides are committed to partnership.
Employment continues to be a central concern for the European Union, and in particular, the importance of addressing barriers to employment, experienced particularly in more disadvantaged communities and by disadvantaged groups.
Around 100 million Europeans engage in some form of voluntary activity – if they were a country they would be the biggest Member State of the EU. The time is right to celebrate the wonderful contributions that these millions of volunteers make every day.