Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) celebrated the latest participants to engage with their diversity and inclusion programmes at a special event hosted by Workday in Dublin.
BITCI are the leading advisers on sustainability and CSR in the country and work with some of Ireland’s largest companies. Earlier this year, BITCI launched the ‘Inclusive Employer’ blueprint, a ‘how-to’ guide for companies on how to be authentically diverse and inclusive.
Employment offers the single biggest opportunity for vulnerable individuals to move out of a cycle of poverty and become active participants in society. In a report published by the ESRI in 2018 five groups were identified as facing the greatest barriers to employment and as most vulnerable to social exclusion. These groups are: jobless households, lone parents, homeless or affected by housing exclusion, those with disabilities and ethnic minorities.
BITCI’s work in the area of social inclusion is supported by government. The Department for Employment Affairs and Social Protection provide funding for BITCI’s EmployAbility service called ‘Ready for Work’ which works with people with disabilities and health challenges and provides guidance, work experience and in-work supports.
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D addressed participating businesses and programme participants at today’s event and said “To address the skills and labour shortages we face, to truly be an inclusive society, we must leave no one behind. Our job – as a government, as a society and in our communities – is to make real opportunities for people to get and retain a good job.
These are key challenges for us when we have a labour force that is considered to be running at practically full employment. There are people still excluded from the workforce – a latent talent pool that we are not harnessing. It makes sense from an economic point of view, as well as from a Corporate Social Responsibility perspective, to find opportunities to include all members of our society as employees, colleagues and team members.“
Tomás Sercovich, CEO of Business in the Community Ireland added, “In order for our economy to grow and for us to be a fair and inclusive society, businesses must take a lead on driving the diversity and inclusion agenda and support people facing extra challenges to find employment. The ongoing support from government is essential for driving this agenda forward.”
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