I’m really pleased to say that Teleperformance has been congratulated by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, today as one of the leading companies in opening their doors to young people from all walks of life.
Teleperformance is named as one of the signatories to the Social Mobility Business Compact, the Deputy Prime Minister’s flagship scheme to create fairer opportunities to getting the best jobs.
As a people company and a large employer in the UK, helping support the communities in which we are present across the UK is a high priority. We are particularly keen to encourage young people from areas of high unemployment into work and supporting them in their career progression. This initiative supports our global “Citizen of the World” social responsibility programme that brings our teams together to aid those in need in our communities.
We run the Be all you can be programme aimed at encouraging young people from areas of high unemployment to (1) aim for a life which is physically active, nutritionally healthy and addiction free and (2) understand possible local career paths. This is in collaboration with local services such as community police and education authorities.
Teleperformance also runs an apprenticeship scheme in partnership with Intec Business College aimed at leavers between the ages of 16 to 19. As well as employment, this scheme offers pre-employment training to support school leavers in finding employment. Once employed, it allows them to work towards NVQ qualifications up to level 3. In 2011, Teleperformance progressed almost 250 young people through the NVQ qualification.
It gives me a great deal of pleasure to quote here on my blog what the Deputy Prime Minister said about our work in this area:
“This is an important step towards a society where it’s what you know, not who you know, that counts. Working with the Coalition, the biggest hitters in Britain’s business world are helping lead the way to a fairer, more open society.
“By opening their doors to young people from all walks of life, this marks the start of a culture shift at the heart of British business, driven by the belief that ability and drive should trump connections and privilege.
“I’d like to thank Teleperformance for signing up to the Business Compact. Today’s success makes me even more ambitious. This great news is just the beginning – I will be doing everything I can to bring even more businesses on board.”
Over a hundred other companies in the UK have signed up to the Business Compact, committing them to making entry into their professions fairer. This initiative places several requirements on the business once you commit:
- to support communities and schools through reading and mentoring schemes or encouraging their staff go out to schools and inspire pupils about their careers.
- to open opportunities to all young people by advertising their work experience places through schools, online and in other public forums, rather than just giving places to their mates.
- to make access to internships open and transparent, paying interns the National Minimum Wage where they are legally entitled to it and providing financial support to ensure fair access, such as providing expenses and/or accommodation to those from less advantaged backgrounds to ensure they are not prevented from accessing opportunities by their financial circumstances
- to recruit fairly and without discrimination, ensuring that their recruitment processes don’t allow candidates to be inadvertently screened out because they went to the wrong school or come from a different ethnic group (including through using name-blank and school-blank applications where appropriate).
There is going to be a reception tonight hosted by Nick Clegg, who will be thanking all of the businesses who have signed up to the Business Compact. Rachel Robinson, Divisional Director, Public Sector Services and Jackie Lowe, HR Director of Teleperformance, are both going to attend.
As our existing initiatives show, Teleperformance has been committed to helping young people into work for a long time. I personally hope that with a new focus on leading companies, we can get many more organisations to behave in the same way, and ultimately we can get many more young people into jobs and training for the future.