Business Charity Awards 2016: Charity Partnership, Utilities & Services - Veolia with Blue Sky Development & Regeneration

For an outstanding partnership between a company in the utilities and services sectors and a UK charity

Veolia gives former offenders a first step on the job ladder
Veolia gives former offenders a first step on the job ladder

What is the partnership?

The environmental services provider Veolia works with the charity Blue Sky to give former offenders a first step on the employment ladder. Blue Sky acts as an alternative labour exchange, employing and training ex-offenders for six months and brokering their next jobs.

What did the company do?

The two organisations set a target of employing 50 ex-offenders during 2014/15, working together to identify contracts where ex-offenders could be placed. Front-line managers from Veolia trained and supervised the former offenders, and Blue Sky supported the managers to deal with any problems that arose. Blue Sky also conducted a series of presentations to Veolia operational staff, to answer their concerns and get them behind the project.

With local authorities placing more weight on social value when considering bids for contracts, the partnership also helped Veolia to further demonstrate its social responsibility.

Why did it win?

Sixty-five former offenders were provided with employment in 2014/15, 30 per cent above target. Only 7 per cent of those who found employment reoffended, eight times fewer than the national average. The partners estimate that the programme generated a net return to the Treasury of £85,000, based on the tax and nationaI insurance paid by the ex-offender employees and the value of Jobseeker's Allowance no longer claimed.

Highly commended

Yorkshire Water with WaterAid

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