Sunday 9 July 2023
The Jobs Foundation was set up to show how business is a force for good. To achieve its mission, we are building a movement of business leaders across the country, all committed to helping people most in need.
We are led by an Advisory Council of business leaders from a range of sectors, locations, and sizes, all uniting behind the message that a successful society requires successful businesses. And we have set up a Business Council that helps businesses learn from each other to do even more in their local communities to relieve poverty and unemployment. People who sign up (at no cost) will be provided with the tools and practical support to find and train people in poverty within their local community. Our plan is to recruit 500 business leaders to our movement by the end of 2023 and a thousand by the end of 2024.
“It’s critical that we build an economy of jobs with good terms and conditions.” said Lord (Jon) Mendelsohn. “Productive, meaningful and enjoyable work gives people a means of fulfilling their potential and contributes to their wellbeing. I’m delighted to be involved with the Jobs Foundation from the outset, to help shape their approach to bringing together business leaders to help boost job creation, strengthen our economy, tackle poverty and show that business can be a force for good.”
Job creation is crucial, particularly at a time when so many of us are feeling the pinch. Research carried out by the Social Metrics Commission (2020) found that securing a full-time salaried job reduces the risk of falling into poverty by 90%, and unemployment raises the risk of poverty eightfold.
Official figures also show that over the past two decades, the number of businesses in the UK has increased significantly while the absolute poverty rate has declined. This is not a coincidence. It is the way that a healthy society tackles poverty. A successful society needs successful businesses.
The Jobs Foundation does not believe in a one size fits all, top-down approach to helping those in poverty. The Business Council is an opportunity to identify companies that have excelled at helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds so other companies can learn from this best practice and will study specific regional needs so they can prioritise areas most in need and offer targeted support.
We are motivated by stories of individuals who found purpose and meaning through work. Like Joanne, who features in our launch film. She began working for REIDsteel as a maternity cover in an administrative role and found that she loved the company and wanted to train in health and safety management. Managing Director Simon Boyd (one of our Trustees) mentored Joanne, and the company funded her professional qualifications. Now she is the company’s Quality, Health, Safety and Environment Manager, working across all technical disciplines, construction sites and in the manufacturing facility to help drive forward the company core values; safety first, blame-free culture, one team and continuous improvement.
CEO of the Jobs Foundation Georgiana Bristol said “I have spent my career working with business leaders and entrepreneurs and I have always been struck by how the best ones are always as excited about their team and the people they employ as they are about their latest product launch or commercial success. The Jobs Foundation will build on that enthusiasm and help business leaders learn from each other so they can do even more to help their local communities.”
Business leaders are already superstars in the fight against poverty, but working together they can do even more to help people in need. It’s a mission that connects people of all political hues and none and we hope the business community will rally behind it.