Unify launches internship for young people with disabilities
07 July 2021
FACILITIES MANAGEMENT venture, Unify by Bruntwood, is supporting people with disabilities and from disadvantaged groups to enter the industry with the launch of a new supported internship programme.
Working in partnership with social impact organisation Pure Innovations, which supports disabled people to achieve independent lifestyles, Unify will offer up to four internships per year, arming people with three months’ experience with the potential to be offered permanent roles at the organisation.
Operating out of Bruntwood SciTech’s Citylabs in Manchester, Pure Innovations approached Unify in December 2020, looking for placements after many of its work experience programmes dried up during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Experiencing a surge in demand for its cleaning and facilities management services, Unify immediately responded, offering a week-long work trial to Pure Innovations candidate Jamie Read. Successfully completing his trial, Jamie, who has a learning disability, has now been in permanent employment with Unify since March this year.
Unify, which is working towards becoming a Disability Confident Employer, has since welcomed its next intern from Pure Innovations to the group in April.
Esther Park, head of people at Unify, said: “We as a business, and the industry as a whole, have a large talent pool from which we are able to hire, but applications repeatedly come from a specific demographic; that has to change if the sector is to ever be regarded as one which offers opportunities for all.
“Being a young business means we are on the front foot when it comes to equality, diversity and inclusion – we’ve been able to make it central to our wider business strategy and we’re pleased to now see those efforts come to fruition through our partnership with Pure Innovations.
“As well as diversifying the recruitment pool in FM, our partnership with Pure Innovations will also ensure we’re offering young people with disabilities the chance to work in an industry which is currently thriving, meaning we are playing a vital role in closing the skills gaps by nurturing a pipeline of future talent.
“Jamie has only been with us for a few months and he’s settled in really well. He’s got real attention to detail, he’s brilliant to work with and we know we can rely on him to do a great job.”
“We are always keen to welcome people of a wide range of backgrounds and abilities to Unify, and are looking forward to seeing how our intern programme opens up opportunities for people utilising the outstanding and truly valuable resource that is Pure Innovations.”
Louise Parrott-Bates, chief executive at Pure Innovations added: “Supporting our young people to find meaningful work has been a significant challenge over the last 12 months. Many of the businesses we typically work with have remained closed for the majority of that period. We’re delighted to onboard Unify as a partner and expand the scope of opportunities we can offer to the young people we work with.”
For more information visit: http://www.unifysolutions.co.uk