Social Mobility Through Employment
A partnership between Axis Group’s front-of-house division, Acuity, and into work programme from the Jane James Consultancy (JJC), Growing Talent, is finding full-time jobs for people struggling to secure work.
Acuity is offering regular three-month initiatives, with JJC presenting suitable front-of-house candidates. A ‘speed-dating’ style meeting is then arranged that Acuity uses to create a shortlist, followed by one-to-one meetings with decision makers at the participating Acuity site. The applicant is then mentored throughout the training process and if they successfully complete the programme, the permanent role becomes theirs. The process includes two off-site weeks, where soft skills such as personal finance, fitness, nutrition, art, mental health and wellbeing are addressed.
Chiara Di Renzo, Director of Acuity, says the Growing Talent initiative provides a unique opportunity for job seekers and employers:
"It provides a guaranteed, permanent job offer at the end of the process that is based on an assessment of the candidate’s personality and suitability for the role, rather than CV and experience. This with the training process lends itself to both parties feeling confident in the employment offer."
The first employee to have gone through the process is Ismail Mohammed, who had been working in multiple jobs to make up the hours and wages he needed but did not feel he had a future in any of these roles.
Originally employed in Acuity’s SELECT team which provides holiday and sickness cover to high-profile clients, Mohammed has now been offered a permanent role as an Acuity Corporate Receptionist, and describes his enrolment on the Growing Talent process as "the best decision I have ever made for my career progression".
Chiara says Mohammed’s confidence and professionalism impressed her: “Even without specific front-of-house experience, Mohammed had a very well-established understanding of customer service and what a five-star welcome is.”
Jane James, JJC managing director, says the support of Acuity and other employers is essential for the success of the scheme:
"Without insightful employers who are willing to recruit in a different way, untapped talent in our unemployed communities will continue to remain hidden."