What we've focused on
The Mitie Foundation is an independent charity which delivers real change to the lives of people of all backgrounds, giving them opportunities to join the world of work, by raising aspirations and unlocking their true potential. The majority of our community activities across Mitie are channelled through the Foundation. The Foundation now has a growing number of ambassadors, Mitie people who meet each quarter to make sure all the Foundation’s activities are appropriately communicated to the business, and encourage as many people as possible to attend Foundation events. This year these ambassadors, alongside other Mitie and client organisation volunteers, have attended events at over 120 schools, academies and sixth-form colleges, engaging with and inspiring over 9,000 future business leaders.
In the last 12 months, the Foundation has successfully delivered six Ready2Work programmes in cities throughout the UK, working closely with local Jobcentre Plus teams to provide work placements for the long-term unemployed. In 2014/15 this initiative was extended to three new cities: Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, and took on an extra five candidates compared to the previous year.
Whilst the Ready2Work programmes are eight-week placements, the Foundation also arranges ad hoc shorter work experience placements, working closely with Jobcentre Plus, other employability providers and community organisations throughout the UK.
Together, our employability schemes result in three out of four candidates receiving a firm job offer, making a real difference to the lives of the candidates and their communities.
Mitie opened the first construction skills centre, designed to teach construction skills to students in 2002, and now has seven across the UK where over 4,100 students have gained valuable vocational qualifications and experience. Subjects covered include plumbing and electrical skills, bricklaying, painting and decorating, carpentry and joinery. Each year we support around 400 14-16 year old students to attain BTEC Construction Certificates and Diplomas. After the initial investment of up to £45,000 per skills centre, the Mitie Foundation has continued to provide support with PPE, work wear, tools and materials amounting to over £15,000 each year. The reach of the skills centres extends further than just the pupils who study in them – most of the schools involved also allow hundreds of students from nearby collaborating schools, including students with special learning needs, to use the facilities and some even provide out of school hours DIY classes for the local community.
Our volunteers helped run energy-related World of Work days where over 130 students, aged 13-16, were put into teams of six to design, build, test and continuously improve prototype wind turbines. Along the way the students are encouraged to demonstrate collaboration, creativity and determination to meet deadlines.
From these events, the Foundation selects ‘Entrepreneurs of the Year’ to visit Mitie client sites and meet senior management teams.
In 2014, we partnered with Working Knowledge, a social enterprise set up to deliver business acumen to sixth-form students, and encourage budding entrepreneurs to develop their ideas through workshops and presentations to local business experts. Star performers are then invited to take part in future Business Development Academies, where they can further enhance their skills. Since September 2014, 21 trainees have completed training; 20 received job offers; and a further 23 are currently attending the academy.
How we performed
community investment represents 0.8% of our pre-tax profit
Mitie volunteers have engaged with 16,915 students at over 120 events
volunteering days associated with improving employability and raising aspirations
The Mitie Foundation is committed to continue to improve employability for people of all backgrounds, and we aim to increase candidates completing their work programme to 60 for the year 2015/16.
Our Ready2Work programmes are to be introduced to new locations to match the evolving Mitie business. Cities under consideration include Glasgow, Derby and Sheffield; usually with a group of 12 candidates in each city.
As well as continuing to support construction skills at the seven Mitie Skills Centres, our volunteers will provide additional employability-related support, such as customer service, marketing and financial advice.