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Today we've received the great news that we are FINALISTS in the Bradford Means Business Awards 2016 for the category Job Creator of the Year! Looking forward to the glittering ceremony on the 11th June when the winner will be announced - might have to buy myself a frock! So pleased, to receive the recognition that our ethos and hard work to get people into employment is getting noticed. Happy Days.
Here's a snippet of our award entry which also gives you another insight into our ethos:
How do you or your business help to create jobs and employment in the Bradford district?
Since the business was formed 6 years ago as a start-up one man band, we now employ 11 permanent members of staff. All the members of staff were unemployed at the time of hiring, having been made redundant or fallen on bad luck in some way.
Our ethos from the start was as to try and create jobs wherever possible within the local community We wanted to help the long term unemployed get back into work. Our business is dependent on the volume of IT we collect and it follows that the more we take the more jobs we can create.
So five years ago we made a conscious decision to reach out to the unemployed community and became a host employer for volunteers to gain work experience, learn new skills, develop confidence and to become job ready - all to increase their chance of getting paid work.
We have found that these schemes have a really positive effect on both the individuals themselves as well as us as a company. We have seen first-hand that it is often through no fault of their own that they have not worked for a long time. Either bad health, family dependency care and bad luck have often led to a lack of self-worth and resentment and this spirals into a lot of negativity and resentment about the world around them. Our aim was to break the cycle and get people back in to the routine of working.
Over the last 5 years we have had over 75 volunteers that have come through various Government back to work schemes and worked with agencies such as Interserve, the job centre or PLUSS agencies offering a course of 4, 8 week and six month placements.
From those 75 we have been able to take on 9 either permanently or on temporary contracts. That’s 14%. An additional 9, that’s another 14% found a job whilst on the placement, either to a company we have referred them to or they have found independently. All admitted that their job success was a result of them being here as when you are working you tend to look more attractive to an employer as well as gaining that confidence and self-belief again. We believe there is no better reference than if they have by turned up to work every day unpaid and working in all weathers, it is certainly the best recruitment tool we have found and we are proud of our 28% statistic of getting people back to work. Whilst this figure might be look fairly low, there are a large number of individuals that come on placement with the strong will that they never want to work and are just completing the course to keep their benefits, we can and have changed opinions but there will always be those that refuse to help themselves.
We are able to quote these success rate figures when we take volunteers through their induction and very quickly their response and attitude towards us and the placement changes - morale in the business increases and regular feedback from the volunteers suggests that they actually enjoy working at Ucan. We can honestly say that if a volunteer during their 6 month placement is committed and continually hard working we will actively help find them a job either with ourselves or with an organisation within our network.
Keeping our fingers crossed for June 11th!