Thames Reach has employed service users both through specifically targeted measures, such as traineeships, and by making it easier for people to compete for all jobs across the organisation.
Organisations keen to employ current or former service users should consider:
- Will all salaried posts be open to service users (e.g. auxiliary posts through to senior management)?
- How will you actively encourage service users to apply for vacancies and ensure there are no organisational restrictions which prevent them from being employed?
- What training opportunities or introductory posts will be available to service users to support their progression into main grade jobs?
Thames Reach decided that all jobs across the organisation would be open to current or former Thames Reach service users and clients from other homelessness organisations. Service users would also be actively encouraged to apply for vacancies.
These objectives were accomplished through:
Feedback from Thames Reach service users indicated that some people were interested in working for the organisation but felt they lacked some of the specialist knowledge (e.g. writing support plans, housing law) and skills (participation in supervision, working with challenging behaviour) required. In response, Thames Reach set up a trainee scheme.