AF Blakemore is celebrating after being named as a finalist for Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards 2019, the UK’s longest running and most prestigious awards programme, championing responsible business in the UK and abroad.
AF Blakemore has been recognised in the Education Partnerships category for its Branching Out programme which inspires young people into the world of work by improving their employability skills and supporting the recruitment and development of future talent.
The awards champion the most inspiring businesses that are making a difference by taking action to build more inclusive workplaces, stronger communities and tackle our biggest environmental challenges.
AF Blakemore community affairs officer Elizabeth Blakemore commented: “We are delighted that Branching Out has been recognised as a finalist in the 2019 Responsible Business Awards.”
“The programme has built upon the success of the company’s longstanding volunteering programme to provide young people with the valuable skills they need to enter the world of work. We have spent many years working with schools but believe Branching Out will bridge the gap between education and employment.
“Since the programme was established in 2017 it continues to make a positive difference in the communities we serve, and is an integral part of how we develop skills and new learning experiences for colleagues across the business.”
Branching Out works with young people across a range of employability interventions including enterprise events, practice interviews, CV writing workshops, study tours and mentoring sessions.
Since the programme was established in January 2017 693 employee volunteers have donated almost 4,000 hours engaging with 3,312 students across 63 primary and secondary schools.
The programme supports young people in developing their employability skills and also provides employment opportunities within the business itself. Since 2017 183 young people have gained employment with A.F. Blakemore via activity related to Branching Out.
Business in the Community chief executive Amanda Mackenzie added: “Organisations which acknowledge their responsibility to society by evolving their business to be a sustainable one for the long term should be recognised and celebrated. We are proud of A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd who have been selected as a Responsible Business Awards 2019 finalist. Together, all the finalists are helping to make the UK the world leader in responsible business.”
The winners will be announced at the Responsible Business Gala Dinner at the Royal Albert Hall on 9 July, in front of 1,200 business leaders.