Sheffield: Forging steel and embracing tech

Read the full report Sheffield: forging steel and embracing tech

The origins of the Jobs Foundation go back to a conversation in 2020, when the two of us talked about the crucial role that businesses play in giving people a step up in life, through jobs and training. We kept circling back to this subject, and in 2022, we realised that there was a need for a charity that distilled the best practise from companies who excel at getting people from disadvantaged background into work, so companies who wish to introduce dedicated schemes to do this, can do so without going through the process of trial and error. The Jobs Foundation was granted charitable status in 2023 and launched later that year. This report is the first instalment of our foundational research, which will be published in full later this year, and will guide us as we grow the charity over the coming years.

When we first began working on the Jobs Foundation, very few people were aware of the crucial need for a charity that helps get people into work. Fast forward to 2024, and it is front and centre of the policy debate. But missing so far has been the crucial role of business to make this happen, by creating and providing jobs, which is why Nick Tyrone’s report, which looks at the role that businesses play in their local communities, is so groundbreaking.

Sheffield: forging steel and embracing tech is the first in a series of reports that will examine how businesses assist social mobility by providing jobs and training. It takes a deep dive into a British city – Sheffield – through the lens of jobs and business.

This report delves into the positive things going on in the city in terms of entrepreneurship and employment, but also examines the challenges faced by the area. While Sheffield has an impressive level of business activity going on within its boundaries, so too does it have a lot of deprivation – and, of course, the problems that come with that. What we have attempted to do here is demonstrate how those problems are being overcome by the best hiring practices of many of the businesses within the city, as well as how those best practices can be used to ameliorate the challenges that Sheffield faces.

We also examine the key role played by the city’s institutions in creating jobs and eliminating poverty through employment. The two universities are central to this, but just as important are programmes like Ascend, projects directly designed to lead the most socio-economically deprived individuals into work and out of poverty. While business is at the forefront of this process, these institutions are of immeasurable help.

Our next report will focus on a town (Loughborough), followed by a report on a coastal community (Hartlepool). After that, we will look into the rural economy of a county (Pembrokeshire), leading to the final report which will bring together the lessons learned from this cross-section of the country. Our core belief is that successful societies require successful businesses, and this foundational research will assist us in our journey to support businesses to do even more good for their local communities in future.

Read the full report Sheffield: forging steel and embracing tech