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Grant Thornton named 2020 Responsible Business Champion

Leading business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP has been recognised as a 2020 Responsible Business Champion by Business in the Community for its efforts to support refugees into meaningful employment. 

The award celebrates businesses that are helping people from marginalised social groups to find work so that they can thrive in their professions and careers.

In work driven by the Sustainability team, the firm has been recognised for building partnerships with Breaking Barriers and Business in the Community to deliver work placements, mentoring and employability workshops for refugees. They have also delivered workshops alongside like-minded companies, such as Mayer Brown and Kier.

Through Business in the Community, volunteers have run workshops and offered insight into the accountancy sector with office tours and opportunities to speak with our people about careers in regional offices, such as Birmingham. During lockdown, Grant Thornton has also been providing virtual volunteer opportunities, including one-to-one mentoring covering CVs and interview skills.

Justin Rix, Partner and Head of People Advisory at Grant Thornton UK LLP, said:

“I'm proud of the work our firm is doing to help refugees into meaningful employment. As a socially responsible business, we believe all talent deserves a chance to thrive.

“Working to support refugees into meaningful employment benefits both our economy and society while underlining our commitment to creating a culture of everyday inclusion. It’s also highly rewarding for our people, who can share their skills, experience and insight to instil confidence in those seeking employment and adapting to life in the UK.”

The Breaking Barriers relationship initiated a series of firsts for the firm.

Grant Thornton was the first corporate partner to co-host an employability workshop with Breaking Barriers, which was highly praised by volunteer and refugee attendees alike. Grant Thornton and Breaking Barriers then embarked upon their first full-time refugee placement through Grant Thornton’s Talent Solutions, which gave the candidate enough confidence to find a permanent role in the education sector.

Another successful Breaking Barriers placement resulted in a hire to Grant Thornton’s Global Mobility Services team. More recently, Grant Thornton became Breaking Barriers’ first corporate partner to host a virtual employability workshop during the pandemic.

Karen Higgins, Head of Sustainability, Grant Thornton UK LLP, said:

“Becoming a 2020 BITC Responsible Business Champion is an amazing achievement that showcases the incredible effort of our volunteers to ensure refugees are not left out of the conversation around talent.

“We remain committed to unlocking talent and building refugees’ confidence through our partnerships with BITC and Breaking Barriers. We realise words alone won’t shift the narrative around refugees, but action will. With support from our colleagues, we will raise our standards even higher to enable more refugees to find meaningful employment.”

Find out more about Sustainability at Grant Thornton.