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Top UK employers begin homeless recruitment drive

Some of the UK’s leading employers have embarked on a major diversity recruitment drive, with a focus on hiring homeless job seekers.

Bupa, Getir, Tossed and Wahaca are among the first businesses to partner with Beam, a social enterprise that upskills people living in homeless hostels, refuges and other forms of temporary housing.

So far a total of 100 employers have signed up to Beam’s ethical recruitment platform, Beam Recruit, designed to be a hassle-free way for employers to hire candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds and help plug the skills gap.

To ensure candidates are ‘work-ready’, Beam crowdfunds costs associated with a new job including training, childcare, travel, a laptop and work tools. Donations come from members of the public who receive updates on the people they’ve financially backed.

Since the first UK lockdown, Beam Recruit has supported more than 380 homeless people into work, with an emphasis on roles that have seen a surge in demand during the pandemic. Most candidates have found roles in health and social care, logistics, transport, facilities and construction, with an average starting salary of £25,000. More recently, candidates have also found work in retail and hospitality. 

Alex Stephany, founder and CEO of Beam, said:

Successful companies need talent to grow – especially those that need to rapidly hire to bounce back from the pandemic. At the same time, employers are realising that diversity is a crucial part of any effective team. By preparing hundreds of homeless people for the world of work, we’re tackling one of the biggest inequalities in our society, while providing employers with access to overlooked talent.

A study from Beam suggests that a quarter (26 per cent) of employers are planning to hire more diversely in the wake of Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. And when it comes to hiring people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds – including homeless people – a quarter (26 per cent) of those surveyed said the main blocker was that they don’t have the right skills. 

Image credit: Beam – Imran learning cooking skills