The Shard’s investment into the London Bridge Quarter has played a vital role in transforming the area into a vibrant neighbourhood - bringing jobs, prosperity and numerous other opportunities for the residents of Southwark. As with other successful developments in Southwark, local businesses have been at the heart of this transformation, as a creator of jobs, both directly and via their wider supply chains.
GoodPeople partnered with Shard developers, The Sellar Group, to deliver part of this transformation, by devising a social impact recruitment programme over 3 years - connecting unemployed local residents with local employers.
Our social impact recruitment was seen as a ‘value-add’ by Shard tenants, and enabled them to demonstrate ‘Responsible Business’ credentials in a simple and effective way - by hiring talented, yet unemployed local people. This created a powerful socially-focussed narrative for tenants, whilst delivering clear commercial benefit – by helping to recruit high calibre staff from the local community.
As a result of our work, 447 previously unemployed Southwark residents were placed in sustainable jobs across London Bridge Quarter – 72% were between 18-24 and previously ‘NEET’, and 76% were from the BAME community.
The employment sustainment rate at 26 weeks (a key indicator of sustainable impact) was 70% - more than three times the national average. Aspirations of local residents were raised and their potential was developed through access to master classes, events and work placements. The programme created a powerful narrative for The Shard, and demonstrated the merits of business investing in the development of its local community. The programme, deemed a success for all concerned, is now widely held up as an exemplar in London.
Michael Baker, CEO of REM which manages The Shard, said:
“From the outset we have been committed to ensuring that The Shard will make a positive contribution to its surrounding community. GoodPeople has a refreshing and innovative approach to placing candidates into employment by seeing their potential and seeking to develop and mentor them in a partnership with prospective employers.
By collaborating with GoodPeople, we have ourselves welcomed a host of new employees who have become integral to making the building run smoothly and have contributed to the overall experience of visiting the vertical city.”
Nick Wolf, Principal Strategy Office, Southwark Council, comments on the success of the project: “These numbers represent real, positive impacts on the lives of Southwark residents and we can celebrate the achievements of this project in supporting local people to access economic benefits from the London Bridge Quarter development.”
The sizeable contribution to Southwark’s economy was celebrated as a great success by Politicians, and has resulted in interest from Ministers.
We welcome the opportunity to continue the London Bridge Quarter journey, by addressing business-critical problems such as skills and labour shortages and by demonstrating business as a force for good with ongoing investment in inclusive growth locally.
Richard Tyrie, Founder and CEO of GoodPeople said:
“Ensuring that our local communities are thriving is important for us all, so what The Shard has achieved shows that businesses can be a force for good by simply conducting ‘business as usual’. Together, we’ve set a new standard and shown how large numbers of unemployed people can derive life-changing benefits from large-scale property developments and contribute enormous value to their employer’s business.”