It takes time and patience to achieve change but with passion and a team of leaders, it is possible.
The Cardiff Bay area has been well developed over the last two decades, with lots of big-name businesses and organisations having a presence. However, many living nearby in Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown feel underrepresented in the National Assembly and local authority or within many of the major businesses.
Following a lot of one-to-one conversations and a listening campaign in the local community, they heard from many graduates who struggled to find jobs after university. It was clear that unfair employment practices and lack of local employment opportunities existed, particularly in areas around Cardiff.
So, they launched the Community Jobs Compact for Employers.
The compact asked for businesses to: be accredited as a ‘Living Wage for Wales’ employer, paying all staff and contractors at least £9.30 an hour; recruit using name-blind and address-blind CVs and/or guarantee an interview to local residents who meet the criteria; introduce unconscious bias training for interviewers; ensure all staff have the option of a minimum hours contract, and demonstrate opportunities for growth and development.
In turn, they would promote job opportunities in the community and encourage local people to apply, provide support to local people to complete applications and prepare for interviews, and signpost employers to organisations who can support them to implement these commitments.
The impact of this has been huge, with many people from diverse local communities successfully getting into employment and apprenticeships with a range of high profile employers, now starting to truly reflect the communities they are based in and serve.
They continue to persuade employers to become a signatory and work to implement the compact whilst working with them to promote job opportunities in the communities.
It’s important to consider the first stages of listening to individuals and the community for stories from people affected by the issues directly to build an alliance of groups and individuals to support the campaign. It takes time and patience to achieve change but with passion and a team of leaders, it is possible.
Who else was involved?
Nirushan Sudarsan, @Niru_Sudarsan99, Ali Abdi, @AliAbdi_, @Butetown_A_Team, @Citizenswales,@CitizensUK, @CardiffCitizens @SEF_Cymru