Corporate Responsibility: The Answer to the UK Job Crisis

Jan 31st, 2011 | By | Category: Jobs

Author: Chantel

As the G8 summit in Italy draws to an end it is apparent that the top issues discussed, remains to be the three biggest issues around the world: the current economy, global warming and world hunger.

Their final draft statement seen by Reuters, addresses these different issues and their solution to it.

“We are committed to increase investments in short, medium and long-term agriculture development that directly benefits the poorest and makes best use of international institutions,” the statement said.

While the richest countries in the world debate these issues, big corporate companies around the world have been trying for years to improve them in some way or the other.

Corporate Responsibility (CR), formerly known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been placing big multinational companies under extraordinary stress to honour and support the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.

According to the UK Government’s Corporate Responsibility Report, CR makes business sense.

“Good business leaders recognise that Corporate Responsibility makes good business sense – it attracts the best talent, earns the trust of customers and the community and acts as a powerful investment for long-term sustainability,” said Ian Pearson, Minister of State Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

While countries around the world battle with one or all three issues as well as new concerns manifested from them, one of the biggest problems the UK is currently facing is the growing unemployment rate.

According the Office of National Statistics, the UK had a staggering two million people out of a jobs at the end of 2008 and in the last three months the unemployment rate rose from 6.5 pc to 7.1pc.
Corporate Responsibility takes on a new and more intense role when it demands job creation and skill training during the current economic climate.

Tesco’s plans to expand a store in Barton-Upon-Humber leading to the creation of 50 new jobs in the area, is an example of the kind of CR the UK job market needs.

Residents of Barton-Upon-Humber has responded positively towards their plans and corporate affairs manager, Nick Gellatly said that although recruiting will only start in next year, people from the area have already enquired about it.

“Nearer to the time, we will talk to the Job Centre Plus and set up a Local Employment Partnership to make sure that local people have the best possible chance of getting a job and people who have been unemployed have the best chance of getting a job,” he said.

Another example of this is with Sainsbury’s new store in north Essex where 23 new jobs were created.

The store in Halstead’s High Street was previously a Somerfield store and through the Sainsbury buy-over 70 jobs were safeguarded as well.

“We’re proud of our new store but the best part is meeting the local community. Everyone’s so friendly and we’re looking forward to making a positive difference,” commented Andy Deacon, Store manager.

Companies show their participation through endeavours like these, with on-going charity support or with projects like Vodafone’s Lifetracks programme.

The Lifetracks programme focuses on the youth of the UK, empowering 16-25-year-olds with the knowledge to make informed choices about work, study and training.

The programme involves engagement teams, workshops, help lines, a website and volunteers.

Vodafone’s aim with this programme is to assist 720,000 UK youngsters over a three year period and help 70pc of them into employment, education or training.

Vodafone has also created 3600 jobs in Berkshire at their Newbury HQ and spent £12m on products and services from West Berkshire’s local suppliers.
While the economic climate is currently a daily issue it does not mean that the environmental climate should take the back-seat until the economy settles down.

Natural disasters like floods and earth quakes are a direct result of global warming and will only increase economic turmoil if not pro-actively dealt with.

“This week the G8 nations came to an historic consensus towards concrete goals to reduce carbon emissions,” said US president, Barack Obama.

“Developed nations will reduce their emissions by 80 percent and we will work with all nations to cut global emissions in half. This ambitious efforts is consistent with limiting global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius. Developed countries, like my own, have a historic responsibility to take the lead,” he said.

The good news is that while our big corporate institutions need to focus their CR on job creation, this is not the only focus for some.

Coca-Cola who employ 4500 people in England, Scotland and Wales do their bit for the environment through ensuring that all of their UK manufacturing sites adhere to the highest environmental standards, by being ISO14001 certified.

The largest listed water company in the UK, United Utilities, who maintain water, wastewater, electricity and gas, are trying to improve the environment through their numerous projects.

They are currently involved with a project that turns biogas from sewage treatment into fuel for vehicles.

Another of their projects saved £6.7m through producing methane gas from sewage sludge in order to provide heat and electricity to run sewage systems.

Big corporate companies earn billions each year and to some extend certain global issues, like for example global warming, is as a result of pollution from billions of factories around the world.

That is why big companies owe it to the world to put money back into improving the economy, environment and social issues.

Hopefully the UK will see more CR projects, charity support and most importantly job creation within the next several months as companies start to see the importance of Corporate Responsibility in combating unemployment.

With the prospect of companies in the UK doing their part, citizens around the country can also assist with embarking on their own responsibility projects.

Through making accountable environment-friendly choices, by supporting charities and if at all possible creating a job opportunity for someone who desperately needs one, we can all put an effort into improving an aspect of everyday life.

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About the Author
Chantel is a regular contributor of career advice and jobs news for leading UK Job Board

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