An initiative to encourage businesses in Cardiff to provide more employment opportunities to local people has won a prestigious national campaigning award.
Tonight (30 September), The Community Jobs Compact, run by Citizens Cymru Wales – Citizens UK, won Best Community Campaign at the Sheila McKechnie National Campaigner Awards.
The Community Jobs Compact for Employers was set up in 2017 following a listening campaign in the Butetown area of the Cardiff area. The exercise found that many local residents, particularly those that were skilled and with a degree, struggled to find jobs locally because of the employment practices used by some businesses.
The compact agreement asked for businesses to be accredited as Living Wage for Wales employers and staff and contractors to be paid at least £9.30 an hour. They also had to agree to recruit using name-blind and address-blind CVs and/or guarantee an interview to local residents who met the criteria. Unconscious bias training was introduced for interviewers. In addition, employers have to ensure all staff have the option of a minimum hours contract, and demonstrate opportunities for growth and development.
Employers that signed up to the scheme were supported by Citizens Cymru Wales leaders who agreed to promote job opportunities in the community and provide support to local people to complete applications and prepare for interviews.
The impact of initiative has been huge, with more than 100 local residents people from diverse local communities successfully finding employment and apprenticeships with a range of high-profile employers in the Cardiff area. As a result, major local employers are now starting to truly reflect the communities they are based in and serve.
The initiative continues to grow, with more employers persuaded to become signatories and work to implement the compact.
Ali Abdi, Community Organiser at Citizens Cymru Wales, says: “We know that our communities want decent paid jobs and this compact does exactly that. We are delighted with the news of the national award, which highlights the brilliant work of our leaders in negotiating with employers. However, we want to call on more employers to make contact with us, so we can continue this great work and support even more local residents in to decent Living Wage Wales opportunities.”
Nirushan Sudarsan, a Leader with Citizens Cymru Wales, says: “It goes to show no matter who you are that if you want to make a positive difference in your communities it is possible if you put your passion and drive into it.”