Name of Company:Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, an international law firm with 2,500 lawyers, established the Ready for Work programme with Business in the Community, to support disadvantaged people gain and sustain employment. The firm set up this programme to demonstrate a commitment to the Work Inclusion agenda. In addition to homeless people, the firm supports ex-offenders and others blighted by long-term unemployment.
The support includes offering work placements at the firm, employability coaching, and informal support schemes. Its support has also been invaluable in helping people leaving prison to make a valuable contribution to society. Over half of the beneficiaries have entered employment as a result of the programme, with 80 per cent of those sustaining employment for at least 6 months.
Freshfields was one of the first firms to sign up to the ‘Ban the Box’ campaign- where job applicants do not have to reveal criminal convictions until they have a job offer. Employment reduces the chance of reoffending by up to 50% and Freshfields’ work has resulted in them instigating a London- wide policy change, opening up the recruitment process so individuals are assessed on their ability and qualifications and not discounted due to an unrelated conviction.
52 % of candidates entered employment within a year
80 % sustained employment for at least six month
- 65% of trainees mention Corporate Responsibility is important