Esh Construction and housing provider livin – both based in Durham – have been hailed responsible business champions after clinching accolades at the national Responsible Business Awards, run by the Prince of Wales’s charity Business in the Community.
Held at the Royal Albert Hall in London last week (7 July), the awards acknowledged the companies for building partnerships with schools and inspiring young talent.
Esh received The School Partnerships Award for its ‘Building my Skills’ initiative which brought together 65 businesses and 49 schools across 23 local authorities in the north of England to provide a dynamic career advice programme in which almost 7,000 young people benefited from mock interviews, work experience and apprenticeship opportunities.
livin scooped The Jaguar Land Rover Inspiring Young Talent Award for its powerful employability programme. Delivered in partnership with local employers, the initiative has helped over 500 young people through a combination of careers advice, work experience, mentoring and training. Every trainee gained employment and the programme produced £1.5 million in economic value.
Prime Minister David Cameron commended winners via video message saying: “On behalf of the whole country, I want to say thank you to all of you, for what you are doing to show that responsible business is good business and something we should all be very proud of.”
The event – a culmination of a series of regional awards run by Business in the Community across the country, recognises innovative ways that businesses are addressing social and environmental issues and transforming communities.
Brian Manning, CEO, Esh Group, said: “Businesses must work together to open student’s eyes to opportunity, charge them up and excite them about the world of work. If we do, we can greatly increase a young person’s ability to gain better qualifications, aspire to be in employment, and enter the job market.”
Colin Steel, CEO, livin housing, said: “Young people are core to the success of our social and business aspirations – they’re our future. Six years ago we saw gaps in service provision – Livin Futures plugged those gaps. Through the programme we engage with hundreds of young people of all ages and abilities, delivering high quality, sustained programmes that really do open doors, giving young people the best chance of getting a job.”
Over 1,200 senior guests, from SME owners to the CEOs of global brands attended the Responsible Business Gala which was sponsored by 2014 Responsible Business of the Year National Grid. The event, which took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and was hosted by TV presenter Claudia Winkleman with entertainment by comedian Adam Hill.
Liz Needleman, Business in the Community’s England East area director, said: “It’s tremendous to see our region’s businesses acknowledged on a national level for the great work they are doing within schools and communities. Inspiring initiatives such as those created by Esh and livin – provide a leading example for fellow UK businesses to make a difference.”