Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Off the streets and into work

May 21 2009
Business in the Community calls on businesses to support employment schemes and help beat homelessness It seems that there has never been a greater drive to help the homeless across the country return to full time employment. Now, in a press release on the 16th March 2006, Business in the Community (BITC) has called for businesses to continue to support schemes that aim to reduce unemployment as a means to beat homelessness. One such scheme, the Ready for Work programme, has reintroduced 1,700 homeless people into the workforce in its five years of existence. This programme continues to push for businesses to join forces with the voluntary sector and the government. This drive is backed by research that shows business, the voluntary sector and government amalgamations can help reduce unemployment among the homeless. The chairman of Business Action on Homelessness and Group CEO of Barclays, John Varley, said, "there is a need for collaborative action between all sectors, voluntary, business and government to provide permanent jobs. Businesses need to increase the amount of placements and expand the offer of job coaching" Since 2001, 200 UK companies across 22 cities have contributed to the programme's success - Marks & Spencer have been the lead placement provider, with 700 clients having completed placements. BITC has called for more national partners to join the ranks if the scheme is to continue to provide a route out of unemployment. However, major cuts in services dedicated to benefits advice will be realised in April (The Pavement, Issue 9), if changes proposed by the Department of Work and Pensions go ahead. These changes will likely result in diminished day centre presence of specialist benefit advisors and, in some day centres, a mandatory appointment policy. So that with shift to get people into work, the system is moving away from linking the vulnerable into benefits. It's to be hoped that some aren't left behind.