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SBFM launches new initiative to help disadvantaged people into sustainable employment

Soft facilities management company, SBFM, has launched Evolve, a new initiative dedicated to providing sustainable employment opportunities and support for people from disadvantaged groups, and raising individuals above the poverty line.

Evolve is designed to increase the earning potential of low-income workers, including cleaners, while at the same time widening the talent pool for UK businesses by diversifying the workforce.

The initiative draws inspiration from SBFM’s London Operations Director who has worked in the industry for 15 years. Despite holding a degree, he spent many years as a cleaner where it cost him half of his salary to travel to and from work each day before finally advancing to the position of area manager. Evolve is dedicated to supporting individuals facing similar barriers to employment and career development.

People from disadvantaged groups face challenges that many others do not – such as lack of formal qualifications or gaps in their employment history, discrimination and prejudice, or language barriers. Candidates include ex-offenders, care leavers, the long-term unemployed, refugees, disabled people, and those experiencing homelessness. They will receive dedicated supported to build their skills, gain confidence, and secure long-term employment.

SBFM is working with organisations including New Futures Network, The Timpson Foundation, Ingeus and Shaw Trust to identify and recruit talent from a wider pool of people who find it difficult to find work, and then recruiting them into cleaning roles at its Evolve Partner sites.

With the Evolve initiative, a role with SBFM is just a starting point for candidates. By leveraging relationships with its clients, which include some of the UK’s leading businesses in PureGym, A.P. Moller – Maersk, and DPD the company says it is able to provide candidates the chance to move into direct employment in more diverse industries.

It is a model that is already delivering results, with several ex-offenders and care leavers working as cleaners at PureGym whilst receiving free training to become personal trainers.

The company is also rallying its industry peers, along with leading businesses from other sectors, to adopt a similar approach to put people first and transform the FM industry.

People and Social Impact Director, Kelly Dolphin, said: “Someone shouldn’t be waiting 15 years to really progress in their career. It’s wrong, and that’s why we are changing things. We are calling on the facilities management industry to get on board with this because we aren’t seeing enough opportunities or progression for cleaners across the board. We continue to establish partnerships with our clients, researching their future recruitment needs and identifying which roles might be filled by those coming through the Evolve initiative. It is time for change and for this approach to become the norm industry-wide.”


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