CIPD applauds ground breaking training and employment programme:
"Helping vulnerable people to get a foothold in society while improving organisational resources." judges
The Cyrenians’ radical approach to moving previously homeless and vulnerable people into employment has been recognised by a National Award.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) announced The Cyrenians winners of the Talent Attraction and Management category and shortlisted contenders including Argos, Lancashire Constabulary and Magnox South Limited at the Awards dinner in Manchester.
The CIPD People Management Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in human resource management and projects which truly transform organisational performance and employee development. Evidence of impact on overall business objectives, a rigorous approach to attracting and developing employees and ongoing collaboration across the organisation were key criteria which the Talent Attraction and Management category Judges looked to satisfy.
The Cyrenians demonstrated this holistic approach through a traineeship model which saw eight former service users achieve trade qualifications and maintain full employment having undergone The Cyrenians’ bespoke training and work experience programme.
The opportunity arose when The Cyrenians set up TCUK Property Services, a construction contracting business, initially designed to carry out two major refurbishment projects at its existing hostels and to employ beneficiaries of its services. To begin with 18 month contracts were established for the service users and they were given support to achieve NVQ qualifications in joinery, plastering and electrical trades. They also undertook training in budgeting as, for some, this was their first experience of earning a wage and not receiving benefits.
The Cyrenians’ Human Resources team provided extensive input to create job descriptions, training contracts and policies appropriate to employees who were tackling issues involving homelessness and some of whom were dealing with drug, alcohol and substance misuse problems.
Significant savings were made to the public purse as the trainees progressed. Costs of medical and support services, social security benefits and involvement with the judiciary were significant. As The Cyrenians’ interventions shifted the participants’ lifestyles and behaviour so these costs have been reduced or removed and the flow is now reversed as the trainees make a positive contribution to society through their employment and National Insurance payments.
Rebecca Clake, HR Practice Development Manager and member of the 2010 judging panel said:
"The Cyrenians’ training and employment programme is an excellent example of Talent Attraction and Management.
"Other organisations in public, private and third sectors will benefit from exploring the methodology, which is groundbreaking in every respect."
Stephen Bell, Chief Executive of The Cyrenians said:
"This Award recognises the strengths and benefits of our radical approach to tackling long term unemployment amongst vulnerable people in our society.
"It is a testament to the commitment and creativity across the whole organisation and in particular the high quality input from our HR team in creating job descriptions, training contracts and relevant policies for employing people dealing with drug, alcohol and substance misuse problems and other issues related to homelessness. We are thrilled to receive the Award and very much look forward to supporting other organisations which are interested in taking up our successful approach."
The eight service users are now enrolled with Hartlepool College of Further Education on a two-year apprenticeship programme in electrical engineering, joinery and plastering.
The CIPD People Management Talent Attraction and Management Award is the fourth National Award which The Cyrenians has received in the last three years.