Jobs charter creates employment for city

By on 16/08/2011 in News

An innovative jobs partnership between Birmingham City Council and Service Birmingham - the joint venture with Capita providing ICT and contact centre services to the council – is transforming the job prospects of people from some of the most disadvantaged communities in the city.

Over the last year, 126 people have found employment as customer service advisers with Service Birmingham as a result of the initiative. Recruits have included long-term unemployed, lone parents, disabled people and those living in parts of the city blighted by social and economic deprivation.

Around forty of the group are classed as “homeworkers”, based at home but providing frontline services as part of Service Birmingham's contact centre operation. Many of the group work flexible shifts, fitting their working schedules around their caring responsibilities.

The initiative is part of the Jobs and Skills Charter between the council and Service Birmingham which was signed last year. This arrangement sees the council's employment access team work with local recruiters in the city to identify potential candidates and assess their capability before forwarding suitable applicants to Service Birmingham for interview as part of the company's commitment to create jobs in the city.

Welcoming the success of the scheme Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Paul Tilsley said: “The Jobs and Skills Charter is helping to secure decent jobs for Birmingham people from groups that traditionally struggle to enter the labour market.

“It is important that we do everything we can to ensure that all people have the opportunity to work, but this is considerably more difficult if you are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been out of the labour market for some time.

“This charter is delivering on the ambition we set it and the success of the recruits shows that no group of people should ever be overlooked by employers.”

Service Birmingham's Chief Executive Stewart Wren added: “We are delighted by the success of the partnership and the calibre of the people we have recruited. What is so pleasing is that it shows that when people are given the chance to work and contribute they are able and willing to do so.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

1.    Established in 2006, Service Birmingham is a joint venture between the Capita Group Plc and Birmingham City Council. The company runs the council's ICT function and helps drive forward its award-winning Business Transformation programme. It also manages the council's contact centre (which deals with two millions calls a year) and runs Birmingham's revenues and benefits department.

2.    Service Birmingham's Jobs Guarantee pledges the company to employ an additional 520 people in the Birmingham area (from 2006 levels) by 1stApril 2011 and 720 by 1st April 2013. We have met the first target and we're on-course to meet the second target too.

3.    Birmingham City Council's Employment Access Team (EAT) provides employers with a thorough, comprehensive support package to recruit and retain staff and develop a skilled, flexible workforce.  It is an integral part of a specialist infrastructure and range of resources created by BCC and its partners, the Skills Funding Agency and Jobcentre Plus, to guarantee that skilled and motivated local people are matched to job vacancies arising in new and existing businesses in Birmingham.

4.    The Capita Group Plc is the UK's leading provider of BPO and integrated professional support service solutions.  With 45,000 people at more than 350 sites, including 64 business centres across the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and India, the Group uses its expertise, infrastructure and scale benefits to transform its clients' services, driving down costs and adding value. Capita is quoted on the London Stock Exchange (CPI.L), and is a constituent of the FTSE100 with revenues for 2010 of £2,744 million.  Further information on The Capita Group Plc can be found at: http://www.capita.co.uk

If you require any further information, or to arrange interviews/case studies, please contact Kris Kowalewski at Birmingham City Council on 0121 303 3621 or Kevin Meagher at Service Birmingham on 07949 520 881

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