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Thames Water joins Homelessness Covenant to help more people access employment

Thursday 21st September 2023 09:26

Two women stand next to an orange sign

Gosia Dworska, Thames Water Employment and Skills Manager, and Rachael Cunningham, Thames Water Employment and Skills Partner, attend the launch of The Homelessness Covenant.

Thames Water will help people who are homeless or without secure living arrangements access career opportunities in the water industry, after becoming the first water company to join The Homelessness Covenant.
Launched on Thursday 14 September, by the charity Crisis, the Covenant consists of a group of organisations who have pledged to help prevent and tackle homelessness. It has been set up in partnership with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).
Thames Water will create employment and training opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and provide support for its own staff who may be at risk of homelessness.
Those employers and partners that have signed up to the Covenant have also pledged to take broader steps to end homelessness including supporting the charitable sector, through fundraising and support for their customers and local communities.
Karima Khandker, Director of Resourcing, Skills and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, said: “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. Giving people who are or have experienced homelessness access and support so they can have successful and sustained employment and training opportunities is the right thing to do and is a practical step to help break the cycle of homelessness.
“As we continue to turnaround our business and improve our performance, we’re striving to create a more diverse workforce that is reflective of the communities we serve. We’re already working with prison leavers and care leavers to help nurture talent and ensure we have the rights skills, so our business is ready for the future. We’re excited to be offering further access to career opportunities to drive social mobility and provide good work for all.”
Tony Hyland, Senior National Account Manager at the Department for Work and Pensions said: “It’s always fantastic to see the support Thames Water have shown towards our Covenants, especially the Care Leavers Covenant and Autism Covenant, and now our new Homelessness Covenant.  These commitments not only nurture new talent into their organisation, but also clearly demonstrate the company’s commitment to supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.”
The launch event took place at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London and was attended by Mims Davies, Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression.
Thames Water is committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce by building a pipeline of skills from local communities and the education sector and by creating lifelong employment and learning opportunities for its employees.  
The company is working with care leavers, prison leavers and neurodiverse candidates to attract and retain diverse talent representative of the communities it serves and to increase social mobility.