The Shaw Trust is planning to recruit 600 new staff over the next year, as it prepares for increased funding from government for employment services.
The announcement, which would expand the charity’s workforce by 25%, comes at a time when thousands of jobs are at risk across the sector as a whole.
The Shaw Trust says it is looking to recruit people with hospitality and retail experience, two parts of the economy hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis.
Losses last year
Last week it emerged that The Shaw Trust had made operational losses of £18m in 2018-19, before the impact of Covid-19, although the charity said it had been “successfully implementing a turnaround plan” and expected to be back in profit by 2021.
One hundred people lost their jobs at the charity during this period, during which the trust also sold a building in south London which had been planned as a new headquarters.
The majority of the new roles will involve working directly with people seeking work, and will be based in London, the home counties, the Midlands and the East of England.
The jobs will mainly involve remote working using digital technology.
Mark Earl, chief people officer at the charity, told Civil Society News that the expansion was being funded through both government commissioning and strong financial performance elsewhere in the charity.
He said: “We run government-commissioned activity through the Department for Work and Pensions, so there is significant growth in that area to respond to increasing unemployment in the country.”
Earl confirmed that this meant there was “more DWP funding in the pipeline to ensure the growth of the employability side” of the charity’s work. The recruitment will also be funded through the success of the Shaw Trust in other areas, including running children’s services, he said.
Earl added that the charity had been forced to make “some difficult decisions” since 2019, but that it was “seeing the green shoots of our turnaround plan”.
Earl also said that the charity wanted “to attract people from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, bringing fresh perspectives, rather than just having worked in the employability sector. We definitely want to go beyond that.”
This included people who had “worked in retail all their lives”, he said, and the charity would be “casting the net out as widely as we can” to guarantee applicants from all professional and personal backgrounds.