Home Campaigns Bupa partners with Beam to help homeless people into work

Bupa partners with Beam to help homeless people into work

by Lisa Carr

Bupa is working with the social enterprise, Beam, to offer hiring opportunities for people experiencing homelessness.

Beam upskills people living in homeless hostels and refuges and matches them with employers based on their career interests.

Since partnering with Beam in summer 2020 Bupa has appointed 15 candidates across its network of care homes and is exploring options to welcome more.

Davina Barton, Head of Resourcing for Bupa Care Services, explains: “Working with Beam has been a win-win situation. We can help people back on the career ladder, whilst also finding talented individuals to work in our care homes.

“The response has been brilliant, not only from our new colleagues who are so appreciative of finding work, but also from the residents they care for.”

Though founded in 2017, Beam has seen a surge in users since the beginning of the pandemic, with an increase in homelessness linked to job losses.

To ensure candidates are ready for work, Beam also crowdfunds to cover costs such as training, childcare, travel, a laptop and work tools. Donations come from members of the public who receive updates on the people they’ve supported.

Alex Stephany, founder and CEO of Beam, said: “By preparing hundreds of homeless people for the world of work, we’re tackling one of the biggest inequalities in our society, at the same time as providing employers with greater access to overlooked talent.

“What’s more, the people we support are so grateful to secure quality employment, which is why 80% remain in stable work after six months.”

Bupa’s work with Beam follows other successful partnerships to help under-represented groups into work, including working with charities such as Mencap and Leonard Cheshire to support job seekers with a learning difficulties, disabilities or autism.

Elsewhere, the care operator continues to work with the Princes’ Trust and Movement to Work to help a young people who are struggling to find meaningful employment, get on the career ladder.

Davina Barton, Head of Resourcing for Bupa Care Services continues: “Talent comes in all shapes and sizes, and from all sorts of backgrounds, so it’s important to look at candidates’ potential over their circumstances.

“The number one thing we look for is compassion and kindness. If people have this, we can help them learn the skills they need.

“The other benefit of having a diverse and inclusive workforce, is that we can better understand and support our residents. Being able to understand other people’s perspectives helps broaden colleagues’ minds and enhance their capability for care.”

Interest in “ethical hiring” is growing, with a recent study from Beam suggesting 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.

So far a total of 100 employers have signed up to Beam’s ethical recruitment platform, including Bupa, Getir, Tossed and Wahaca. As a result, since March 2020, the organisation has supported more than 330 homeless people into work across sectors including health and social care, logistics, transport, facilities and construction.

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