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Thames Water supports 'Ban the Box' campaign

Thursday 4th March 2021 12:11

Black text which says Ban the Box

Thames Water is helping ex-offenders access career opportunities in the water industry after signing the ‘Ban the Box’ pledge.

Ban the Box, a campaign led by the Prince of Wales’ charity Business in the Community, aims to remove employment barriers for people with convictions, helping them apply for roles they are qualified and capable of doing.

The campaign calls on UK employers to give ex-offenders a fair chance to compete for jobs by removing the criminal convictions tick box from application forms. Companies will instead ask about previous convictions later in the recruitment process.

Thames Water has signed the pledge as part of its ambitious recruitment programme, which plans to upskill people who are out of work due to Covid-19 and help increase social mobility in London and the Thames Valley.

Lynne Graham, HR director at Thames Water, said: “We know having a diverse, inclusive, and engaged workforce benefits our customers and communities. By signing up to Ban the Box we hope to give people with past convictions the confidence to apply for roles within our business.

“We want to ensure all people have an equal opportunity to find a career within the water industry and we don’t want to miss out on accessing untapped, diverse talent. Supporting Ban the Box will go towards helping us achieve this and we will ensure these future employees receive the right training and skills development so they can have successful and sustainable careers.”

Charlotte Gibb, employment and skills manager at Business in the Community, said: “By making this small but vital change in their recruitment process, Thames Water is helping to provide a fair chance to people with criminal convictions – something that is both good for business and society. Thames Water joins 150 Ban the Box employers that have collectively opened up 1.1 million roles to people with criminal convictions, demonstrating the scale of impact that could be achieved if every UK employer followed their example.”

In January, Thames Water announced plans to employ 1,000 people in 2021 across London and the Thames Valley while also supporting the government’s Kickstart Scheme by creating 50 placements for 16-24-year olds who are unemployed and on Universal Credit. The placements will be hosted across the business for 26 weeks and will give youngsters an opportunity to gain experience in the water industry.

The company is also providing a £6,000 grant to The Skill Mill, an organisation which provides training opportunities in water and environment management to young offenders in Surrey and Croydon.

Find out about job opportunities at Thames Water.