Dragon Award winners help recover London's 'lost apprentices'
London’s Lord Mayor Roger Gifford hailed this year’s winners of the annual Dragon Awards for their commitment to providing job prospects to people whose skills would otherwise remain lost to the capital. “There is a wealth of lost talent in London,” he said. “We can be cleverer in engaging that raw talent.”
And winning entries are doing just that, providing training to a total of 619 ‘lost apprentices’ so far in 2013.
Established 26 years ago, the Dragon Awards are the longest running awards that recognise excellence in corporate community engagement programmes. Overall, this year’s Dragon Award nominees have volunteered almost 1 million hours to local communities through their CSR programmes - worth over £17million.
The Economic Regeneration award went to Purdy, a medium sized engineering company which helps disadvantaged young people into careers in the industry, running work placements and apprenticeships to train local people – bucking an industry trend of subcontracting and poor investment in apprentices. The company is also seeking to recruit more women into the construction industry, encouraging girls to become apply to become apprentices.
The Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel was awarded the Social Inclusion award for its partnership with east London charity Providence Row, which has been working with London’s homeless for over 150 years. What began as donations of towels and toiletries in 2009 has now grown to workshops in its hotel kitchens and work placements with a formal recruitment process, providing real-world employment experience for the trainees.
Since November 2011, 24 out of 31 people completed the scheme; five have moved into paid employment; four have moved into accredited training and six have moved into further volunteering.
Read about all this year's winners in the November issue of Ethical Performance