Open Doors initiative marks first year and shares progress report

BITCI News - Oct 21, 2019

The Open Doors Initiative recently celebrated its first anniversary by recognising the substantial impact the initiative has made in addressing employment barriers for key marginalised groups since its founding in September 2018.

Business in the Community Ireland is delighted to have supported the establishment of this important initiative, working alongside BITCI member companies Diageo, Accenture, AIB and others to develop the initial governance model and reporting framework. In its inaugural year, Open Doors has grown to 35 participating companies and organisations and 18 supporting partners ranging from state bodies, trade associations, and other NGOs.

The Initiative was launched by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last year, with fourteen founding companies leading a movement to improve employability for groups where unemployment rates are higher than average – namely migrants (including asylum seekers and refugees); people with disabilities; and long-term unemployed youth.

The movement has grown to 35 companies now and more companies are joining all the time. Each company has committed to provide inclusive pathways to employment through a variety of employability interventions. Measurement got underway at the start of the year and the highlights of January to July include:

  • Almost 1,500 (1,452) people have successfully completed an intervention from one of the participant companies.
  • 104 people from the three target groups now have a full-time role.
  • Over 21,500 hours (21,520) have been spent on supporting programmes and delivering interventions (mentoring, training, etc.)
  • 102 barriers (monetary, language, physical accessibility, etc.) are being addressed by participating companies.

Country Director for Diageo Ireland, Oliver Loomes, said: “What has been achieved in just a year since we came together with our partners and Government to launch the Open Doors Initiative has been remarkable. The figures speak for themselves and I am delighted that so many people in the three target groups have availed of an intervention to assist them in employability. It’s also remarkable that we started with 14 companies and we are now at 35 and are growing all the time. This is proof of what we can achieve collectively.”

The full progress report can be downloaded here.