Social integration: an investment in the future workforce

By Christine McGourty, Corporate Affairs Director at British Gas

Since February this year, I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the Social Integration Commission, and the work it’s carrying out into the way we live and work together in Britain today. At British Gas, this is of particular interest: as a major UK employer in a highly competitive industry, we want to encourage talented people from a wide range of backgrounds into our business. This isn’t just socially responsible – it also makes sound commercial sense.

As with other companies, a diverse workforce helps British Gas to understand and serve the needs of our large, diverse customer base and to tailor products and services. British Gas engineers go into 10,000 homes every day to attend boiler emergencies, give energy efficiency advice and install insulation or a Smart Meter. We serve a wide range of customers, and it’s important that we tailor our service to meet the needs of each.

We have a long and proud history of offering top quality apprenticeships and over the past 10 years we’ve trained 3,300 young apprentices. As part of their training and development they complete the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. This teaches them vital skills in communication, leadership and teamwork and they take up volunteering opportunities, so that they can engage and give back to the diverse communities in which they live and work. As we select candidates for our apprenticeships, it’s a priority for us at British Gas to attract a wide range of young people from all backgrounds, and to encourage them to mix together in the workplace, and socially in their communities.

It is for these reasons that we believe social integration is something that we should nurture and encourage.

Click here to download a copy of the Commission’s first report, ’How integrated is modern Britain?'

Christine is one of our Commissioners

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