John Reid & Sons (Strucsteel) Ltd has thrown its weight behind a gamechanging new initiative to combat poverty and boost employment and social mobility.
The Dorset firm – known as REIDsteel – has become one of the first members of the Jobs Foundation, which is uniting industry leaders and entrepreneurs nationwide.
Managing director Simon Boyd has become a trustee of the independent charity. Quality, Health, Safety and Environment manager Jo White features on the foundation’s website and in its launch video.
Businesses are the most effective creator of jobs and social mobility, according to the foundation.
It will help firms to learn from each other to do even more in their local communities to relieve poverty and unemployment.
The foundation is headed by an advisory council of business leaders from a range of sectors, locations and sizes, all uniting behind the message that a successful society requires successful businesses.
Simon Boyd, managing director at 130-strong REIDsteel, said: “Business is a force for good.
“It makes an incredibly positive contribution to our society. Business provides jobs, drives the economy and funds our country’s vital public services through its taxes and those of its employees.
“I’m a firm believer in social mobility. In any business, the people are the company. Helping hem to fulfil their potential can only be good for them and our company.
“We are proud to support the Jobs Foundation in its mission to help alleviate poverty and unemployment while creating greater social mobility and delivering benefits for business, society and the economy.”
The Jobs Foundation has begun building a movement of business leaders across the country, all committed to helping people most in need.
Members will be provided with the tools and practical support to find and train people in poverty within their local community.
Georgiana Bristol, chief executive of the Jobs Foundation, said: “The biggest and most effective engine to tackle poverty is the business community.
“By creating the jobs which take people out of poverty, offering training to help people fulfil their potential, and funding public sector jobs through taxation, businesses offer an economic and social infrastructure for the country and help reduce poverty.”
Research carried out by the Social Metrics Commission (2020) found that securing a full-time salaried job reduces the risk of falling into poverty by 90%, and unemployment raises the risk of poverty eightfold.
The Jobs Foundation does not believe in a one size fits all, top-down approach to helping those in poverty.
It is planning to spend the coming year identifying companies that have excelled at helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds so other companies can learn from this best practice, and will study specific regional needs so it can prioritise areas most in need and offer targeted support.
Matthew Elliott, president of the Jobs Foundation, said: “We hope to recruit 500 business leaders to our movement by the end of 2023 and 1,000 by the end of 2024.
“Business leaders are already superstars in the fight against poverty, but working together they can do even more to help people in need.
“It’s a mission that connects people of all political hues and none and I hope the business community will rally behind it.”
REIDsteel has a ‘one team’ ethos which means that every employee is valued.
QHSE manager Jo began working for REIDsteel as maternity cover in an administrative role.
She found that she loved the company, and wanted to train in health and safety management.
Simon mentored Joanne and the company funded her professional qualification. Now she plays a key role at REIDsteel, working with construction site and workshop staff to ensure everyone stays safe.
REIDsteel designs, engineers, makes and constructs all kinds of steel structures and buildings worldwide.
The business remains family owned and has exported to more than 140 countries so far in 104 years of trading.