The Unipart Outstanding Employment Award

*Please note, entries to the Responsible Business Awards have now closed. The announcement of the Responsible Business Awards Longlist will be made during Responsible Business Week on 23 April.

For businesses who are removing barriers to work and helping people to thrive in good jobs. 

Employment rates have reached a record high in recent months, and yet there are still 1.4 million unemployed people in the UK, a third of whom have been out of work for over a year. Many of those who remain unemployed face significant barriers to work, which mean they are at a particular disadvantage. What’s more, within a labour market that is ever-changing and jobs that are increasingly insecure, employment is not a guaranteed route out of poverty, meaning that 1 in 8 UK workers are living below the poverty line.

Excluded groups, including those with criminal convictions, experiences of homelessness, and mental health issues, are more likely to need targeted support from businesses to help them move into employment. Young people face unique challenges applying for jobs, as evidenced by the unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds which is twice the national average.

In this climate, businesses have a vital role to play as employers. The Unipart Award for Outstanding Employment recognises businesses helping people to overcome barriers to employment and thrive in good jobs. The Unipart Outstanding Employment Award recognises businesses helping people to overcome barriers to employment and thrive in good jobs.


Successful entries will be able to demonstrate:

  • A comprehensive approach to employment which helps people to overcome barriers to employment and thrive in good jobs.

Target groups could include: Long-term unemployed; homeless people; ex-offenders; people with disabilities; ex-military personnel; older workers struggling to enter or re-enter employment; refugees; survivors of slavery; young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET); young people in education who are preparing for the world of work; young job seekers and young people at the start of their career in an organization.

  • Impact which helps target groups across the key stages of their employment journey. BITC’s employment framework calls these stages Inspire, Hire and Grow:
  1. Inspire: Preparing people who face barriers to employment for the world of work through experiences and activities that build skills and confidence. For example, through mock interviews, employability workshops, job and future career coaching, and quality work placements.
  2. Hire: Removing recruitment barriers and creating talent pipelines so jobs are more accessible to people who face barriers to employment. For example,  removing blanket exclusions or unnecessary criteria ( Ban the Box; assessing the requirement of previous experience for entry level roles), focusing on skills and behaviours and to identify potential, attracting diverse talent, creating future pipelines through partnerships to recruit people who face barriers to employment.
  3. Grow: Supporting people who face barriers to employment to sustain work, by ensuring jobs are secure, pay fairly and offer opportunities for development and progression. For example, effective inductions, supportive line management, supporting wellbeing, training and development plans, secure contracts, predictable take-home pay.
  • For large businesses, successful entries should demonstrate a joined-up approach to employment which impacts multiple target groups at scale.
  • For small businesses*, successful entries may focus on one target group, but will be able to demonstrate an innovative approach with significant depth of impact.

*We define small business as: with no parent company, employing fewer than 1,500 employees or the full time equivalent, and with a turnover of less than £250m.

For help completing your entry please download the guidance document and scoring guide.


This category is open to all members of Business in the Community (BITC) and any non-member private sector business.

  • The business should be entering for a programme that goes above and beyond the primary purpose of the business.
  • The entry should focus on impact achieved in the UK.
  • Any size business can enter and will have an equal chance of winning as scale will be taken into consideration and assessed as relevant to your business’ operational scope.

Deadline 17:00 GMT on Friday 9 February 2018. 

Contact details

For more details please contact Hannah Chui: or Charlotte Gibb:

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