CIPD Trust Webinar – Tackling barriers to work: Creating inclusive workplaces

Want to hear from People Professionals about how you can create an inclusive workplace and make real change happen?

Together we tackle barriers to work and create inclusive workplaces. We connect individuals and organisations. And we give professionals the opportunity to make an impact beyond their everyday practice and their own organisations.

When we tackle the barriers to work and create inclusive workplaces, we give more people the power to learn, contribute and progress. We equip them to unleash growth, talent and productivity in their organisations. And we create the conditions for a more prosperous society.

Our panel of experts include:

  • Kemmel (Kim) Healey – Everton Football Club
  • John Handley Chartered Fellow CIPD – HC-One
  • Alicia Wilson – DRPG
  • Lauren Roberts – City & Guilds Foundation
  • Jacob Hill –

Chaired by Sally Eley, Head of CIPD Trust & Leah De Silva, Senior Programme Manager, CIPD Trust

We were delighted to share the work that we’re doing at the Trust to break down the barriers to work. By working with our fantastic partners and combining the power of the people profession, we’re supporting people with convictions and refugees into meaningful work.


Tackling barriers to work – Creating inclusive workplaces

Tackling barriers to work: Creating inclusive workplaces


Sally:tSo, we’ll be starting off properly in a minute. I still miss saying it’s lovely to see so many people, when you can’t obviously see anyone on Zoom, but I know that you’re there because I can see the numbers. So it is great that you’re here joining us, so thank you. We had a couple of little tech glitches earlier, which we hope to have resolved. But you know how these things are, we’re all used to it by now, aren’t we? And it happens all the time. John, just before we ask you to go off camera for a while, can I just check, do you have audio? Can you hear us?nnJohn:tI can hear you. Can you hear me?nnSally:tYes, we can hear you now. Brilliant.nnJohn:tOh, sorry.nnSally:tNo, no, no, no, that is u002du002dnnJohn:tI’m on my phone.nnSally:tNo, no, no, that’s absolutely fine. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. So we’re just really happy that we can hear you.nnJohn:tOK, cool.nnSally:tThank you. If you want to just go, yeah, brilliant. We will bring you back in a little bit later. OK, well, I will just get started now then. So, properly, a big welcome to everyone who’s joined us today. I’m Sally, and I’m joined by my colleague, Leah, and we both work for the CIPD Trust. And I’m just going to talk you through sort of how we’re going to run this session, and then we’ll get started properly. So, yes, first of all, I’m just going to talk you through a little bit of context about the CIPD Trust. There’s a few slides, don’t worry, not too many, we’re not going to overwhelm you with a presentation this morning. And then I’m going to hand over to Leah, who is going to introduce you to three of our five guests with us today. She’s going to have a conversation with three people professionals. And then I, she’s going to hand back over to me, and I’m going to talk to two of our partners before we open up to Qu0026A at the end. So if you want to put your questions in the Qu0026A, any chat obviously in the chat bar, please do that as we’re going along. We are recording today’s session, and I think it’s already said that. So good, that’s all the nice little housekeeping bits out the way. OK, so the CIPD Trust. First of all, just to start by saying, it’s, we’ve only just got going. We got set up last year, and essentially we are an amplifier of the CIPD. So our purpose is all around better work and working lives. And so the Trust is really an amplification of that, really looking at, our main purpose is really to create inclusive workplaces. And we’ve got a proposition, which you can see ahead of you, which is all centred around leveraging the unique skills and talents of the people profession in order to tackle barriers to work and create inclusive workplaces of tomorrow. So starting with the people profession, what we’re trying to do is bring more inclusivity, more diversity within that, and we’ve got things like, we’ve got a bursary programme aimed at bringing under represented people into the profession. We’ve also then got a number of mentoring and coaching programmes looking at bringing other levels where there’s under representation further through so that we can, so we have a more diverse and representative profession itself. And then moving over to the wider workplace, we also want to try and gain more inclusivity from other groups. So we’ve got a specific focus on people who face barriers to getting into work, and they are around, the ones that we’re focusing on first of all are older workers, hate that term older workers, I am one myself, but we’ll have all heard it and seen it in the media. People probably then in their 50s and 60s looking to get back into work, as well as people with convictions, another group that really have difficulty getting in, and employers have difficulty understanding the value they can get. And also refugees, so those are our three core areas that we want to support. We are also supporting other groups, and we’ll be looking to expand programmes into, there’s loads of people that we could help, but we have to start somewhere. So that’s really our focus. A lot of our work is centered around mentoring programmes, but not exclusively, we’re looking to bring people together to share their practice, share problem statements and support each other through this mentoring and coaching proposition. But you’ll see more of how we’re going to do that later down the line. But it’s, everything is centered around the people profession itself, you are experts at people at work. We know that you can help people, help organisations change their perceptions, policies and practice by doing things differently. And we think that a lot of our work that we can do, through convening and connecting people together, can help achieve that. Dee, if you can maybe move on to the next slide, please? Just wanted to flag that we’ve developed, we spent quite a lot of time working on an impact framework, so that everything we do, we measure carefully to check that it is actually going to achieve what we’re set out to do. You can run a lot of nice programmes and people can enjoy them, and they can be positive experiences, but they don’t actually change anything. And what, everything that we’re doing, ultimately, we want to see three core outcomes, lead towards those core outcomes. And again, if you can make sure, they can probably come up now Dee. For individuals, we want to show that people have greater access to and a better experience of work. For organisations, we want to be able to prove that organisational practice, when it’s changed and developed, can actually improve working lives. And ultimately, we want to be able to prove that we’re supporting a diverse, equitable and prosperous society. Obviously, these are lofty aims, it’s going to take us a long time to get there, but we’ve developed, we’ve spent a long time looking at measures for each one of those that means that, as we’re doing our work, we can measure whether that makes any difference. And a big part of what we’ll be doing is us, as the Trust, convening and connecting, bringing people together. So we’ll be working with the profession, the experts, so the people at work, bringing them to the table, alongside partners and other organisations who work with people who’ve got those specific barriers so that we as the, if you like, we’re the middle person, bringing that together, and we’re looking to then see if we can test our hypotheses. So what does that then look like in practice? Dee, f you can then move to the next slide then? As I said, a key part of what we’re doing is around convening and connecting people, bringing parts to the table, we’re already working with the communities that we’re looking to support. And it’s through these collaborations, if you like, that we can, think we can make the greatest change. So what we really want to do is create coalitions for change around some of these areas so that we really, really shift the dial, and that we do have much more inclusive workplaces, and that we do feel, that people do feel as if they belong. And so it’s all about inclusion and belonging, that’s really what our whole thing is for. So our InterPrac framework helps us hold us to account, we’re measuring everything we do. And what we’re starting with, it’s very much in pilot phases, we’re looking to, everything we want to do, we’re thinking, well, what could be the scale opportunity here? Because clearly, we have that ability, as the CIPD, we’re really fortunate to be connected to our 160,000 members, but then also the wider people profession. So we know that there’s so much appetite, and the people that I’ve spoken to, I know Leah’s the same, who are from the profession, who are, who’ve got so much to bring to this, it’s really exciting for us in terms of thinking what we can actually achieve in the future. So that’s just a little bit of the theory, if you like, behind what we’re doing. I’m now going to hand over to Leah so she can introduce some of our guests and find out why they’re involved. So, Leah, unless I’ve forgotten anything in that bit? nnLeah:tNo.nnSally:tFine, OK.nnLeah:tI think that was a great intro. Thank you.nnSally:tFab, OK, over to you. I’ll be back.nnLeah:tBrilliant. Thanks so much, Sally. As Sally said, my name’s Leah, and I work with Sally within the Trust. We’ve got two segments to the webinar, and I’m delighted to facilitate the first part of that, which is very in conversation with our greatest asset, which is you, the people profession. So I’m going to invite John, Alicia and Kim to put their cameras back on so I can have a conversation with them. And we’re going to minimise the slides so we can get up close and personal with John, Kim and Alicia. Just by way of introduction, I’m delighted that they’re joining us, because they really are a stellar panel. They’ve all been involved in some way, shape or form in some of our programmes to date over the years. And that’s really helped us to inform what we can do to engage the people profession as a whole. So Alicia Wilson is head of people at DRP Group, she is a previous Steps Ahead mentor, and she’s also a pioneer, because she signed up to be one of our very first mentors, supporting our pilot around people with convictions and supporting them to flourish and thrive at work. So welcome, Alicia. Kim Healey has been, for the last eight years, the Chief People Officer at Everton Football Club for all you football enthusiasts. And as well as that, she is a two time mentor on Aspiring HRD. Now, for those of you who don’t know, the Aspiring HRD programme really connects senior leaders already in situ, and in those positions with people who are looking to make it into those positions in the next two to three years, with a particular focus on people experiencing barriers to their progression. And through that programme, they work together in a bid to actually move up the chain and help diversify the people profession as a whole. So welcome, Kim. And John, who has disappeared from my view, but I hope will be back very shortly, is also a mentor on Aspiring HRD programme. John is the executive director for people at HC1. And not only has he mentored on that programme, he is very passionate about inclusive workplaces, as are, as is everyone on this call, and has done some things in his own organisation that we’re going to unpick. So a fabulous panel. I am going to come to you in turn to just share some observations about your involvement first of all, as an individual, but also about some of the things we’re trying to do and the role that the people profession has in that. So Kim, I’m going to come to you first, if I may. You’ve been involved as a mentor on the Aspiring HRD programme, but you’ve also obviously, within your own organisation, been focused on supporting under represented groups for a long time, access the labour market. What do you get, what’s the impact on you as a leader within HR getting involved in our work? What’s it meant for you in terms of the lessons you’re learning and the things you’re taking back?nnKim:tOh, it’s been invaluable, absolutely invaluable, Leah. The two mentees that I’ve had have been absolutely brilliant to work with, and if anything, I’ve learned a lot myself. My current mentee, who we’ve just finished with, Michelle, and I’m going to say a big shout out to her because I’ve absolutely so enjoyed working with her. I think the information that you get from the CIPD on becoming a mentor is so valuable, to not just me as an individual, but also to Everton Football Club for introducing a mentor scheme within the club itself. When you’re involved with people, you hear about their backgrounds and what they’ve done, and you realise during your own career, because I’m one of those older people now in the workplace, and you think, oh, yes, I understand that, because that’s what I went through at the same stages as you did. But yes, I think that the whole emphasis of the project itself has just been inspiring. And I have a lot of colleagues at the club as well who have also been asking what we’re doing and trying to, well, we are introducing a mentor programme now u002du002dnnLeah:tI love that.nnKim:tBecause of the input that we’ve had with the CIPD and being allowed to mentor on the Aspiring Directors Programme.nnLeah:tI love that, because I think that’s one of the things, we talk about it quite glibly that it should be a two way process, you know? But as a mentor, the fact that you’re taking something out of the programme then making changes in your own workplace is exactly at the heart of what we’re trying to do as the Trust. What do, what would you say to other people, professionals, Kim, thinking about this or wanting to do something similar? How can they make the most impact do you think?nnKim: I think as a CIPD professional, as an HR professional, I think, from, and I can say this from my point of view only, but I believe that we need to give something back. And as we’re learning, we need to be encouraging others within the profession. HR, when I first went into it, was personnel and it was very much you knock on the door and it was ruled by a fist of iron type of thing. And I think now it’s all about giving back and how you treat people within your organisation, because a lot of it is to do, in my opinion, with culture. So CIPD is the governing body of our profession, and I think we should support it, and I think the Trust is a marvellous way of supporting our own profession. And by doing that, we’re supporting our own businesses. Because times have moved on, and people focus and people progression is how we make success of our organisations.nnLeah:tAbsolutely. Thanks, Kim, we will come back to you in a minute. I’m going to open up the conversation with you, John, and bring you in here, because I think, this is something we’ve talked about for a long time, the fact that doing the right thing doesn’t have to be this fluffy left field thing that’s over here. It’s very much something that’s interlinked with the business benefit, the tangible benefits, Kim’s touched on that progression, talent, moving people into the business and onwards and upwards. Tell me a little bit about your viewpoint on that?nnJohn:tI’d come almost back to basics actually, Leah, in that, it’s interesting in that we, when we think about different sectors, we think about them having different purposes, because they’re structured differently, but actually they’re all deeply connected, even if you look back the past few years and see how deeply connected we all are. So from my perspective, I think what I’m really keen to learn actually, and in fact I’m looking forward to hearing Jacob later, is I think organisations tend to come up with this stuff through our proposition. Who do we, can we see working in our organisation? What’s our proposition around pay and flexibility and all that wonderful stuff? But actually, but the bit I think we probably miss is for different groups, and you’ve referenced three groups today, there are very different hurdles that we may not be conscious of.nnLeah:tAbsolutely.nnJohn:tSo the bit I’m intrigued about today is, how do you bring the two things together? And I thought we kicked off really wonderfully today when we talked about collaboration, because actually I think that’s the mantra here, is you’ll get different groups come together and then realise from each other’s perspective what’s getting in the way and what, if you bring it together, can be the magic?nnLeah:tAbsolutely.nnJohn:tAnd I just think the more and more we connect people together, the more the magic will become obvious.nnLeah:tAbsolutely. It’s really interesting you touched on that, because I think one of the things that we’ve done through the mentoring programme is do that, is connect people u002du002dnnJohn:tYeah.nnLeah:tWith enough in common to have the conversation, but enough other indifference to create the magic. And if we can scale that, as Sally was talking about in the beginning u002du002dnnJohn:tYeah.nnLeah:tWith bigger programmes, we’re going to do it with some programmes, but actually, the big change is going to happen, people like you taking those learnings back into their organisations and making change.nnJohn:tYeah.nnLeah:tJohn, one of the things you said to me recently, which I thought was really interesting, because I’m sure there’s lots of people thinking, OK, what’s my sphere of influence as an HR professional?nnJohn:tYeah.nnLeah:tIt’s all well and good if you’re an HR director or a head of people, you’ve got some influence there that you can, you can make change in your organisation, but if I’m earlier in my HR career, what are the things I can do?nnJohn:tYeah.nnLeah:tWhat’s the impact I can have?nnJohn:tYeah, it’s fascinating this isn’t it? And I think, I do have this sort of mindset, and forgive me for this, is that I think you’ve got to start off first of all by who you are, right? So every one of us, if I’m honest, whether you’re in a profession or not, first of all is, we’re individuals. So we can turn up about who we are and what we see and what we believe. I think the only thing that needs is courage, right? Because you go into a big organisation and you’re, there are all these people, layers of managers everywhere and senior people and we can be a bit terrified of it. But what we can all do at the first point is, be who we are and find the courage and the voice to say what we believe and say, and share what we see That’s one individual level. The second level for me is, look at the practices in your business. Businesses are designed, most of them are designed for stability. So there’ll be stuff that goes on inside your business, because (inaudible) as well, where if you look at them and you go, that’s not really serving us very well given the things we’re trying to do, the agility we’re trying to introduce, the people we’re trying to embrace and involve. So look at the things you’re doing. They’re probably unintentional, but they’re getting in the way. And then the third one for me is, stepping back from the practicalities of it and getting deep into the organisation, and I do feel privileged here, Leah, in that I am fortunate because I do hold a senior position. I’m very conscious of my positional authority, but actually it’s about the culture and behaviour. So right back into who are we as an organisation? How do we turn up? Who do we want to be? How do we want to be? And how do you assess us in terms of what we’re achieving in both the community and inside our organisation? So three very simple levels, the personal, what I can do in terms of my day to day job, and what I can see and find. But then wrapped up in culture and leadership. And by the way, if that third thing doesn’t exist, or it’s working against the first two, honestly, I’d say find a way from somewhere else.nnLeah:tBrilliant, some great things there. What I loved about that is also that you don’t have to have the answers to that part, what we’re trying to do at the Trust is uncover some of the barriers. So even if your impact as an individual is to highlight what those issues are, that’s a really valuable place to start and a great conversation. Thank you, John. I’m going to open up the conversation with Alicia, if I may. Now, Alicia, as I said, you’re one of our pioneers, so you’ve been involved in Steps Ahead mentoring before, so you’ve been a mentor with one of our programmes and supported people looking for work. But Alicia is going to be a mentor on our new pilot around supporting people with convictions. I’m really interested to get your view, Alicia, on why you wanted to do that and what you hope to get out of that experience?nnAlicia:tI think the biggest thing for me is just having the opportunity to share my knowledge as a HR professional, and support outside of the workplace. Very often I find myself, I’m not sure about anybody else, thinking there’s more, there’s more, there’s more that I can give, there’s more that I can do. And this has really ticked a box for me. So starting off with Steps Ahead, I think was definitely the right route. And then getting involved with this pilot has definitely opened my eyes to people who actually do experience those barriers. And all of us have experienced barriers at some time in our life or in our career, but we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to overcome that, or either have access to the support to get through it. So I think just as HR professionals, I think we have a set of skills and knowledge that we can really expand to individuals and give them access to us as a network, to provide them and support them in that growth and that journey. We coach and we mentor every day, don’t we? Day in and day out to support our employees and our managers. So extending this to the wider community can have a huge impact.nnLeah:tI loved that, I loved what you said earlier on again about that, Alicia, was almost that you, is the idea of being curious. You wanted to find out more and understand how you can make a difference to someone. So again, it’s not necessarily coming from a position of, oh, I know all this, like, but what you can bring, and I think this is the role of the Trust here as the convener and connectors, we can bring all that, as you said, that coaching, that mentoring, that curiosity, that courage from the HR profession, and connect it with partners who have access to people with barriers. Because we’ve all been there, some are more pronounced than others, and a way to try and overcome those and overturn those, and then take those learnings back to make significant change. What do you think, in your opinion, Alicia, what do you think prevents more people from doing this or prevents them from getting involved?nnAlicia:tI think it’s probably, we overthink the impacts that we can have. So, when I started with the Steps Ahead mentoring, I was extremely nervous, because I was like, what impact can I have? Will I be able to support this individual? But in actual fact, the smallest change or that smallest amount of input can make a huge difference to somebody else. So whilst we think, what’s, what could be small to us is actually a big change for individuals who don’t actually have that access to the network, the knowledge and the skills that we come across every day. So even if it’s speaking to somebody about confidence or talking to somebody about having difficult conversations and those kind of things. For somebody that has a really huge impact on them, but for us, it’s something small. But that is the impact that we can have with people outside of our workplace as well.nnLeah:tAbsolutely. And a question to you all really, because I’m going to round up this bit, this segment of the conversation in a moment before we hand back to our expert partners. But the trust is a vehicle, what can we do? What would you want to see from us? I mean, Kim, you put it really well, the CIPD is the governing body and the Trust is the perfect vehicle to do this. We see ourselves as, in this role as convener, connector, are we in the right space? Are there other things we can do to support you as professionals and your organisations to do more, get more involved and take more lessons back with you? I’ll open that to all three of you, whoever wants to jump in first. I’m seeing lots of hands reach for the unmute button, so that’s a good sign.nnJohn:tLeah, I can have a go u002du002dnnLeah:tYeah, go for it.nnJohn:tI think it is creating these networks. Because, frankly, everyone’s going to be really busy. Make it really simple, lower the barriers. Big institutions, CIPD included, could be a little scary for some people.nnLeah:tTrue.nnJohn:tSo how do you make the connections very, very simple? I think today, by the way, is a great example of that. It is just putting people in touch, allowing collaborations to start, lowering the barriers. I remember when I was a, I was going to say a kid, I actually mean a teenager, maybe in my early 20s, is I would have been terrified at reaching out to formal structures, formal organisations. I just didn’t have the confidence then. So I think anything that we can do that can lower those barriers and make it simple for people to connect, I think will make a huge difference.nnLeah:tBrilliant, I love that. Kim, would you add to anything that John said there?nnKim:tYeah, I totally agree with John. When I first joined the CIPD many, many years ago, to think I’d be doing this today would be absolutely overwhelming. But there’s so much that the Trust can do, and I think very much practical tips, because we’re all in different organisations with different workloads. Some of us have huge teams, some of us are in standalone roles, some of us have small teams. And it’s how do we get involved with the projects that the Trust want to do? Can you influence at this stage in your career? Can you support it financially? Colleagues who may not want to be involved in it, and it’s how you can actually practically get your organisation to look at it in a different way. It’s winning hearts and minds, Leah.nnLeah:tAbsolutely.nnKim:tBut for me, I’d be going to my commercial team, my marketing team, my finance team to say, well actually, how can we influence your future partners, your future investors, future media output that actually says we’re a caring company? We have our values and we live our values and we’re giving back to society. So I think lots of more practical hands on experience and tips u002du002dnnLeah:tI love that. Alicia, anything to add? Anything you think we should be doing to support that conversation?nnAlicia:tI would say that it is pretty much covered like John and Kim say, it is about that network and it’s about really just giving a great insight into the support that is around. I mean the material that’s available and the support from the CIPD is absolutely fantastic, and not just for yourself but also to support the mentees as well. So it settles that anxiousness, and it does actually build that confidence to be able to have those conversations. So yeah it is really just providing that network.nnLeah:tI love that. Thank you all very much, because what was coming out loud and clear then is that we need to make it as easy as possible to engage simple hints and tips and the power of the network, which is, I mean, I didn’t prep you to say that, but that’s absolutely brilliant as the segue into our next segment. So thank you. I’m going to allow Kim, Alicia and John a little bit of respite off camera for a few moments for the next segment, and then we’ll invite them back for the Qu0026A at the end. But this webinar is really, in practice, what the trust is all about. Because we’ve heard from the profession about what they want to do, their appetite for change and how we can do that. And now we’re going to have a segment where Sally’s going to talk to our expert partners who are in the business of making it as easy as possible to engage. And they’re going to tell us a little bit more about the barriers that some of those people that we’re trying to help are facing. So Sally, I’ll hand back over to you.nnSally:tThanks, Leah. I think there were so many good points and interesting points, I wrote loads of little notes down and then thought, well, I’ve got to focus, otherwise I’ll end up commenting on everything. But one of the things that I heard was that lots of the group, individual groups have specific barriers they’re facing, there’s not just one size fits all. And it’s really important that we work with, that’s that convener connector piece. We work with organisations, and there’s many of them who are already working with groups of people who face those specific barriers. Because, and that’s where we won’t be going directly, as the Trust, to the end individual if you like, we’ll be definitely making sure that we work with partners who already understand a lot more, because there’s complexity in all of this, it’s not just a simple, simple thing. So Jacob and Lauren, if you could turn your cameras on now, that would be great. It’s like a big reveal, isn’t it? Where are they? Here they are, woo hoo, thank you. So, Jacob, Lauren, in fact, I’m going to hand over to you to introduce yourselves. But just before I do, we work with partners, as we’ve already said, in a way, in terms of helping to either fund our work or who’ve got shared objectives. So what can we do together collectively? The more that like minded organisations and individuals work together, the more we can achieve together. And then obviously we work with people, as I just outlined before, who work specifically with those target groups we’re talking about. So that’s really, Lauren and Jacob represent those two types of organisations. Jacob, if I can start with you, do you want to give a little bit of context about you, your organisation and how we’re working together?nnJacob:tAbsolutely, Sally, thank you so much. Well, obviously Offploy is partnering with the CIPD, because it’s an amazing opportunity for us as an organisation that supports people with criminal convictions back into work. If we can influence and support and be a part of the conversation with HR professionals, we believe that’s one of the strongest points and strongest areas to influence wider society to accepting people with criminal convictions, recognising the value, offering them those opportunities. And with the CIPD Trust, we are running a mentoring programme, which is incredible, where a cohort of, not just our candidates, but also our colleagues who have got lived experience of the criminal justice system are going to be mentored by CIPD Trust, sorry, CIPD members or professionals in the HR sector, to really help elevate our individuals who are often just boxed off as, they’re people with criminal convictions. So they must have a whole list of needs that we possibly can’t yet understand as the HR profession. But having that mentor might be a great opportunity to not only give the candidate that hand up, I don’t know if that’s the right term, but give the candidate that bit of insight on what’s on the other side of the interview process. But it’ll also hopefully support the mentors to recognise that, when we talk about people with criminal convictions, we’re talking about, gosh, only 8% of people get sentenced to prison every year, 92% get community sentences. When we talk about people with convictions, we talk about everyone from driving related offences right through to some of those headline offences we see. And, Sally, in wrapping up, I’d just like to say, I’m really grateful for this opportunity, having spent nine and a half months in prison myself, starting Offploy to convince and encourage employers, CIPD Trust is now giving me and our organisation the opportunity to really change the narrative on what people think about when they think about people with criminal convictions.nnSally:tExcellent. Thanks for that intro, Jacob, and also for expanding on what we’re doing. Lauren, what about you? If you can introduce yourself a bit and say about how we’ve come to work together?nnLauren:tYes, thank you, Sally, great to be here everybody. So I’m Lauren Roberts, I’m Advocacy Lead for the City and Guilds Foundation. I am by no means an expert in this, but thank you for the title for the hour, Sally. So the City and Guilds Foundation is all about removing barriers for marginalised groups to find employment and training, essentially. And we became interested, like many organisations, in supporting refugees and displaced people beginning of last year. And I have had the pleasure to work with several refugee charities on the ground, across the UK, to help refugees who are at a point where they’re looking to seek employment, seek training in industries that many of them have a wealth of knowledge, qualifications, back in home countries, to join the UK labour market, sorry. So we partnered with the CIPD Trust to offer refugees a supercharged bursary, as we’re calling it. So giving them the chance to be connected to a CIPD mentor, to receive a bursary, to receive training for those that have experience in the HR sector, but then a wider offer for anybody from any sector to receive a CIPD mentor, to help them gain employment opportunities. So great to be here.nnSally:tThanks Lauren. And I think that’s what, with both of these pilot programmes that we’re doing, what we’re hoping is, our hypothesis is that somebody who is an expert and a, and cares deeply about people from the HR profession is going to be almost that perfect person to work with somebody who is experiencing particular hurdles, barriers to getting in or getting on. And Jacob said that earlier, it’s not just about getting people into a job, what we find is that people get in and then they fall out really quickly because they don’t understand how to navigate the workplace. And most of us have all been, it’s just in our subconscious, because that’s what we’ve always known. But if you haven’t known that, it can be really easy to be frightened of it, to think this isn’t for me, and on both sides as well. From the, from both the employer’s side, because the process and policies and way in which organisations are set up, and I think it was John who alluded to it earlier, they’re set up, you didn’t say set up for safety, but you said something which made sense that I thought would link in at this point, which I’ve now forgotten, helpful, I’m sorry about that, Anyway it is that feeling of, if we get the, you are the best people, the HR profession, to be able to support and help people into the workplace. But also, you can also change your policies and practice for the whole organisation. Imagine that, that’s such, that is such an exciting opportunity, because it’s not just helping one individual at a time, it’s actually being able then to have that ability to change whole organisation’s way, attitudes and ways in which you recruit, train on board. So anyway, just opening out the conversation a bit more, Jacob, again John talked about things that were getting in, what’s getting in the way? What do you think is getting in the way for employers, but also for people on the other side in your experience? What is it that we need, these barriers that we need to break down, what do you see?nnJacob:tWell, the thing I always share, and Sally, we were on a stage just a couple of weeks ago, and one of the things I really wanted to put forward was, you shouldn’t be doing this because it looks good, or you feel sorry for our cohort or whatever else. There’s 1.1 million vacancies as of March ’23 in the United Kingdom, there’s about 12 million people with criminal convictions, and obviously many are employed, or not, some are not looking for work, for example. But it means we can go a really good way towards filling that talent gap. So we encourage employers that they should be doing this because it’s primarily good for business, and then after that, you can then start to become the best in it. Employers are already recruiting people with criminal convictions. The ones who are getting access to the best talent are the ones who have got the most, better process, the fairer processes in place. It’s not just for people with convictions, we’re talking about any socially excluded group here. So for us, the thing we say to employers is, you’re probably already doing it, you might as well do it well. So for HR professionals, it’s, we encourage you to question the question. Do we need to be asking about criminal convictions for the majority of our roles? Does it matter to our organisation? And if we do, are we asking the right questions? And so we encourage HR professionals to get started, give it a go, if you’re not already, which you probably are, question whether you need to ask the question, and if you do need to ask the question, to make sure you’re asking the right questions at the right time. It’s not important for you to know the far end of everyone’s dilemmas and backgrounds for someone’s role, you’ll know more about the people with the convictions in that case than you will about those without if you don’t balance it. For the people with the convictions, the barriers they’re facing, it is exhausting talking about your offence over and over and over again not knowing what’s going on behind that curtain once you disclose that offence. I don’t know who’s got that information, how long you’re going to keep it for, if I do get the job, who’s going to be told? So we’re encouraging employers to support the people with convictions, and encouraging people with convictions to apply for your roles, by being a bit more transparent in how you’re going to use that data, as you do with your equality monitoring forms. We, with our equality monitoring forms, we are so garish and loud and saying, we promise this will not affect your interview procedure, this does not influence decisions. This will be stored separately from your HR record, we do all of this for equality monitoring. But when we ask you about the worst moment in your life, there is no guarantees or no, so for us, for people with convictions, it can be terrifying disclosing. So wrapping up, sorry, I realise, Sally, you’ve talk too much sometimes.nnSally:tNo, it’s fine, no, you don’t talk too much, no.nnJacob:tShe had a word with me off the call. In summary, it would be, HR managers, please don’t get tangled up in what’s right and what’s wrong, but give it a go, ask the right questions to support the people with the convictions on the other side who want to work for you. They just want to know what you’re going to do with the data, to know whether they want to disclose their offence to you or not when asked.nnSally:tI think that’s a really good point as well that you pulled out about the business case, because I, we’ve obviously talked a lot about the opportunity to support people, but it’s a two way thing. This is about business benefit u002du002dnnJacob:tIt is.nnSally:tAs much as it is about supporting people. So your business is going to be better if it’s more inclusive, if it has a more diverse spread, we know that there’s evidence that speaks to that. There are groups of people that can’t get into work or can’t get on within it, we know that that can also be changed. And then your business can be stronger because of it. You might have to do things a bit differently, and it might take a bit of work, and that’s what, in a way, that’s what we’re trying to uncover so that, but you’ve got to go through those pain points to get to the benefit. But that’s, that’s true of everything, isn’t it? So, I just, I wanted to just pull that bit out, because that’s really important for us as well as the Trust, that it’s, this is about how you benefit business, not just how you benefit individuals. Yeah, so anyway, sorry, Lauren coming to you. What barriers do you find that, through the other organisations that you work with, because I know you do very similar to work, work to us u002du002dnnLauren:tYeah.nnSally:tWorking with a lot of organisations, your whole purpose is around supporting people getting into a job and on within that job and breaking down the barriers, what do you see?nnLauren:tI think it’s quite similar, Sally, so it’s quite stark really, and just the whole idea around supporting marginalised groups being a bit of a CSR activity, it’s a nice thing to do, rather than the feeling of valued, being valued amongst the refugee population. We know that 65% of refugees in the UK were in education and employment in their home country before coming to the UK, but this whole idea around supporting them is a nice thing to do, rather than the immense knowledge, talent, experience, qualifications many of them hold. Something around the law, that also come up quite a bit, so refugees themselves not quite being clear on, or not quite understanding, because it hasn’t been communicated to them, what they can expect from employers, what kind of contracts they’re able to take part in. The other side from employers, we hear a lot around what are the legalities of employing a refugee? Is it the same as employing any other member of staff? The difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee, all those questions. And then lastly, I think it’s just something around recruitment processes really. So complicated processes, jargon, we’ve had many instances where, talking through a role profile, we’ve spoken to those from refugee backgrounds who have all the experience, but the way it’s worded, it’s just not clear what the employer is actually looking for. So they see that as a role that’s not applicable to them, when they’ve probably done something very similar in the past. And also qualifications, last one, but just around, for many individuals who do actually have transcripts and do have access to the qualifications they have, that’s great, but how do they actually equate to UK qualifications? And for many refugees, they don’t have transcripts, they don’t have any proof of those qualifications. So thinking about, do all industries actually need qualifications, or is it just a nice to have? And it being a nice to have can actually restrict who you’re attracting, yes.nnSally:tI think that’s a really good point as well about the whole sort of plain language thing. Because even the word role profile, if you’re not familiar with it, we’ve all heard it, so it’s just yeah, you know what it is, but if you, at any anytime there’s something new jargon-y, if you’re new into it, you know what it’s like, if you change sector then you’re like, what on earth does that mean? nnLauren:tYeah, a u002du002dnnSally:tI remember when I went to social housing, it took me ages to understand what they were talking about.nnLauren:tAn example, Sally, of an organisation who put on a workshop for refugees and displaced people to talk them through the application form, rather than just simplifying it, they had a whole workshop to talk people through what do we mean by this? They just simplified it, the time and the money and the investment could be saved, because people wouldn’t need so much additional support to get through the gate.nnSally:tYeah, but that, and again that, I think John mentioned it earlier, we do need to keep things simple. And actually, that’s something else with the Trust, we want to try things and pilot things, and some things won’t work, and we want to own that right now at the beginning. Some of the things that we try might not work, but we’re really willing to, and we want others to want to do the same, to come and join us on that journey and try different ways of doing it. Because there’s actually another great organisation called Corporate Rebels, I don’t know if any of you’ve come across them, but they are, Lauren, I know you’ll know them, but they’re brilliant, and they just turn things on their heads and challenge, why can’t we do it a different way? And it’s so often, it’s that we’re just used to doing things the same way, we always do it like this, this is too hard to change a process of policy. And actually, or even an application form and is it? Is it really that hard? Anyway, sorry, (inaudible). Jacob, anything else that you think prevents employers engaging in this area that you want to share now?nnJacob:tI think employers are afraid of getting it wrong. I think we are, we’re worried that there might be all sorts of laws that we have to adhere to when we hire people with criminal convictions, like Lauren was talking about with refugees. Once you’ve made a decision to recruit someone with a conviction, and you may or may not have risk assessments in place that either mandate DBS checks or you choose to do basic DBS checks where they’re not mandated, once you’ve made that decision, there’s very little legal regulatory or legal and compliance stuff you have to do beyond that point, providing that you’ve got the, you’ve made the decision in a fair manner. It comes to the point when you look at, for example, maternity leave as an example, that you’ve got your statutory on what you have to do with maternity leave, so there’s probably some roles in your organisation where you have to conduct a standard or an enhanced DBS check. You probably have to give a certain amount of maternity leave, for example, but how you coordinate that with the person returning to work and what their extra needs are and what, you would do that anyway if you’re culture, you’ve got your statutory, and then you’ve got what you do as a culture. We’re suggesting to you as employers it’s not that different, so your theories about getting started in all of this, just get some advice, ask the right people. I’ve asked the team here at CIPD to share my 30 minutes, a booking thing, if you want to chat with me for a little bit and ask more specific criminal conviction questions in context of HR after this, please do. But we just encourage people to give it a go and get some advice. We know it’s intimidating, we know it can be daunting, but we’re talking about 12 million people in the UK, one in three adult males between the ages of 18 and 52. We’re talking about people you’re probably hiring, you’re probably getting served by in a restaurant, you’re probably getting served by in a bank, we’re talking about people that we see in society. So if we exclude people with criminal convictions, we’re actually inclusive of no one.nnJacob:tYeah, great way to sum that up. Thanks, Jacob. Lauren, anything final from you on this that you wanted to add in?nnLauren:tI think just kind of how Jacob left it, it’s not about being the experts essentially, you know, go out and speak to people that are experts, especially in a refugee and displaced people space. There are so many charities on the ground, organisations doing amazing work, who are desperate for support, who will talk you through legalities, who will talk you through making your workplace accommodating and inclusive. So if you’re interested, just be curious and make connections with local charities on the ground who can offer the support to kind of get you started on the journey.nnSally:tThanks Lauren, yeah, if you’re interested be curious, that’s a great thing to leave that on I think. So thanks very much guys that was brilliant. If I can now ask Leah to come back on, where are you? And our other guests, we are going to go to questions I believe. So, Leah, I’ll hand back to you.nnLeah:tAbsolutely. So if I can invite Lauren, Jacob, John, Kim and Alicia to be front and centre. We’ve had lots of questions peppering our Qu0026A box, so thank you very much to the audience. There’s a, they’re neatly split into sort of questions about the HR profession and questions about the support. So I’m going to kick off with one about the HR, which we’ve sort of touched on. Somebody’s asked about what can I do if I’m a junior HR professional to support the Trust? And I know that Sally’s going to round up with some key asks within profession. So there’ll be some practical things in there to answer that question. But it ties in with another question, which I’m going to open up to Alicia, John and Kim. There’s a question around influencing, if you’re working in a big or small HR team and you are passionate about this stuff, you want to do some work in this area. What’s the best way to influence the rest of your people team? We talked about winning hearts and minds. How do you do it? I think people want some practical tips willing to share.nnJohn:tI’m able to start, Leah, if that’s OK?nnLeah:tGo for it, sure.nnJohn:tAs I was preparing for today, actually, or thinking about it, I just, I came across a quote which was a favourite of mine, I couldn’t remember exactly what it was, but let me share it anyway because it’s in the space. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. And the same applies in organisations. So I think that my response to your question is, if you believe in it, show up and let others, because you’ll find other people in your organisation share your opinion, or actually may not, but if you engage in them in the conversation and you’ve got the courage to do that, I think that’s where change comes from. You’ve got to initiate the conversation. So influence I think comes from turning up, having passion, sharing it with other people and then creating a little cadre of people who have the similar view as you have. And I’m not talking just about the formalities of our processes and systems here, I’m talking about the way the organisation (inaudible). That’s what I would do.nnLeah:tBrilliant. Alicia or Kim, anything to add to that?nnAlicia:tI agree, I think it’s definitely having those conversations, because the passion that you can display and share with colleagues is a starting point, and once you can explain what you get from it as an individual, and that is demonstrated, then you tend to get the buy in of other people, and it just tends to flow and people tend to follow. But yes, and just talking about that impact, and whilst we’re there to support and mentor mentees, but we also get a lot of it, we also get a lot out of it ourselves in terms of our own confidence, also identifying skills that we didn’t think we had ourselves. So it’s growth on both sides.nnLeah:tI love that. Kim, anything to add?nnKim:tYeah, I suppose if I look at it from a manager’s point of view, I would, I just totally encourage my team to come up with creative ideas. And I’ll say not all the ideas we’ll get through, because sometimes there’s a time and a place, or there may be challenges that they’re not aware of. But please bring it to the table, because that’s the only way you’re going to grow and develop. Please don’t, I would say to my team, please don’t think that any idea is a daft idea, because it could work into something fantastic. I had an Lu0026D lead that came to me regarding a programme that she wanted to put together for disadvantaged children in the Liverpool area, to give them a chance for work experience. And the next thing, I’ve got two apprentices in my team that have been through the programme and now are on a good path. So, we found the money from somewhere, we got some charity money for the Steve Morgan Trust, and it was, it’s just a great programme, but that’s just from one person’s idea. So, don’t be frightened to bring your ideas forward.nnLeah:tI love that. Thank you for that. We’ve got a question, I’m going to direct probably more to Jacob and Lauren, if you agree, Sally? Because this is about trust, not the CIPD Trust, but the value of trust. It was mentioned a lot as a key component that needs to be worked on when working with people with criminal convictions or other barriers. So what could employers and the HR profession do to really build that trust initially and try and create and foster an environment of trust? Any ideas, hints and tips to share with the group, Jacob or Lauren?nnLauren:tI think for me u002du002dnnJacob:tLauren, are you going to go first? Yeah? nnLauren:tI think for me, sorry, always awkward. I think for me with learning, it’s just about being really transparent, being really transparent about what the process is, any data you’re collecting, as Jacob raised such a great point, any data you’re collecting, why you’re collecting it? Thinking about why are we collecting it? Do we need to collect it in the first place? So just being really transparent about the processes, and just doing what you’re saying you’re going to do [connection lost], I think especially for the refugee and displaced people population. I certainly didn’t appreciate just the, you know, the legalities they have to go through, the appointments, the form filling, the bureaucracy they have to go through. So I think for the most part, we’re just another agency they’re dealing with. So how do we make sure that they’re able to understand, this is what we’re going to do, and we actually do what we’re going to say we’re going to do, and then we measure the impact of what we’ve done? And just work with them to actually curate a process that works, take on their feedback, make adjustments where you can, keep improving.nnLeah:tLove that. Anything to add, Jacob?nnJacob:tAbsolutely. So how do we build that trust? First of all, show that there’s value to you in doing this as the organisation, that it’s not all about the, you know, we’re doing something good for you, the individuals who we pity so much. And I know it’s not the case, by the way, I’m saying that’s like a little chip that can be on our shoulders from time to time, thinking everything’s being done for us when it might not be the case. So one way, for example, showing value is, consider doing social impact reporting. I don’t know if any of our audience wants to ping in the chat, if they are one of these organisations, but if you are funded by the government, you might have to tender for bids, or if they’re funded for it. And this beautiful thing called the Social Value Act has now started to weight your bids based on what social value you’re creating, creating. Under the government’s recognised framework called the TOMs Framework, if you employ someone with a conviction for six months, you save society around £23,119. So when you’re employing ten, 20, 30, 40, 50 people, you can say to, on your job adverts now, we actively employ people with convictions, we’ve generated this much social value in doing that, it’s made a difference to our business. You should be actively encouraging your job adverts. We recognise the value people with criminal convictions can bring to society, we actively encourage them to apply for our roles. We should be talking about when they are going to be asked the question, Lauren, you said this about transparency, when are we going to be asked, and what are you going to do with that data? So I think there are a few ways that you can build trust to show that it’s not, it’s there to bring value to the business and what you’re going to do with their data.nnLeah:tBrilliant.nnJohn:tYeah, do you mind if build on that u002du002dnnLeah:tPlease.nnJohn:tOn Lauren and Jacob’s point?nnLeah:tPlease do.nnJohn:tI think, the other thing I’d add to what they’ve just said is two things, one is the connection. So I’d love to speak to Lauren and Jacob after this actually just to really make that connection with us, because I think there’s something I could learn from what they’re doing. But also I think the education bit, because I think what I’m hearing, and what I was expecting to learn today and I am learning, is there are some things which we don’t yet understand, right? And I don’t mean about the law, I mean about people’s experiences, lived experience and what’s getting in the way. So we’re doing a piece of work which is actually effectively redesigning our front end of our new colleague experience, and we’re testing every aspect of that experience. So it’s something that I’d love to take away from Jacob and Lauren to drop into our redesign, just to test our own redesign itself effectively. So I’d love to do that later.nnJacob:tAbsolutely.nnLeah:tFabulous.nnSally:tThey’re doing, and being here and connecting and (inaudible) live here can I just say u002du002dnnLeah:tThey are.nnSally:tI love that, you see?nnLeah:tAbsolutely. I’m conscious of time, so, Sally, if we’ve got time for one more? I guess one to everyone on this panel, but perhaps more pursuant to the HR and people professionals is, what’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt from getting involved in this space? I like this question because I think it might throw up some left field answers. So whoever wants to dive in first and tell us what’s the most surprising? Maybe Kim, do you want to kick off with that one?nnKim:tOh, what’s the most surprising thing I’ve learnt? Do you know what? That we’re all human, if anything. I used to have concerns about a bit of imposter syndrome and what we were all doing, and, oh, someone’s doing something better than me, or, oh, I didn’t know that, and one thing and another. And do you know what? We’re probably all in the same space sometimes. And I think just sharing and being yourself and understanding and helping and supporting, I think that’s the biggest surprise to me. There’s, I’ve not come across any hierarchy, it’s just like, there’s a common goal, and everyone wants to do the best for people. And that’s, yeah, that’s the nicest thing that I’ve come across.nnLeah:tI love that, surprising and nice. Absolutely, Alicia, anything from you? What’s been the most surprising thing you’ve learnt?nnAlicia:tI think for me then, it’s how far we can really utilise what we know. As I said before, I think we underestimate, and I think that people in general underestimate their talents, their skills. And there’s so much people, there’s so many people out there that will take so much from what we know and vice versa. So I think that that is the surprising thing, we just do what we do as a habit because that’s just routine isn’t it? But there’s actually much more to that, and it can really make a difference to others. So I think that that is the surprising thing to me.nnLeah:tAbsolutely, I love that. John, anything to add?nnJohn:tProbably my one would be, and it actually maybe connects to the mentoring with Woosh, is we’ve all got limiting beliefs, right? We’ve all got things that we may not understand that they’re there, but they are. The things that limit our possibilities are there for every one of us. And actually, part of the mentoring, you’ve got reverse mentoring at the same time. So you’re always testing your own limits as to, what’s holding me back? And there might be people on this call who are thinking, if you’re very experienced and senior and older, you don’t have any of these doubts. Of course you do. I’m still learning today at my age, and I expect to learn until the day I pop my clogs, right? But I think the power of those limiting beliefs is, try and surface them, because they’re there for everybody. And that mentoring and reverse mentoring has been fabulous for that.nnLeah:tBrilliant, thank you. I’m conscious of time, Sally, so I’m going to hand back to you to do a wrap. We could talk forever because there’s so much to cover.nnSally:tI know, I wanted to go around that question to everyone, but we haven’t got time, actually, we haven’t got time. So, Dee, if you could just put the last, the next slide up, just because I know it’s about what, how you can get involved with us. So, if you have, if you were interested in anything you’ve heard today, there’s different ways in which you can get involved in the Trust. You could sign up as a mentor on one of our programmes, one of our existing or our new programmes, and support somebody and learn at the same time. You can share what you’re doing. You might be doing something along the lines of what we talked about, or something completely different in your organisation, we’d love to hear about your practice. And as the CIPD Trust, we’ve got the platform to be able to share that practice with others. So, please do get in touch with us, even if it’s just to do that. And also, if you’ve got a problem, if there’s a problem that you’re like, in any of the contexts that we’ve talked about where you’re like, well, this is all very well, but what about this? Get in touch and share that, and we, maybe we could bring a round table together to explore that problem. Because that’s going to feature in our work as well. I’m sure that my colleagues will have shared our email address on our, on the chat, but there’s our website. There’s a form on the website, it’s new as well, and it’s easy to use and it’s great, so please do have a look at it. And lastly, if you just want a conversation with us, if, just get in touch, we’re happy to talk. We want to talk to anybody who’s interested, so please do get in touch with us. We’re just going to have a quick poll now, I’m so petrified about Zoom cutting us off. So if you can do the poll thing, Dee, thank you. I think we’ve got three questions, which if, it will literally take you ten seconds to fill it in. Please just fill that in now on your screen, and then thank you very much, because we’ll, we’re really grateful for you coming along and answering that. Does that take itself down? Sorry, I should have asked this in, before, Dee. Does it just vanish or …nnDee:tNo worries, in about 30 seconds I’m going to take it down.nnSally:tOh, right. OK. I’m just conscious of the clock, the Zoom clock that might kick us out. So just while that is happening, I’ll just finish by saying thank you so much to our speakers for coming and sharing your experiences from the profession and our wider partners. But mainly as well, thank you to you for coming to the event, thank you for giving up your, I say lunch hour, who has a lunch hour? But thank you, thank you for sharing this with us and spending time and finding out about it. And we really look forward to hearing from you. Thank you. You can press leave. Thank you.nnnnn

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