Shoosmiths Foundation donates £49,000 to tackle inequality in the job market

October, 2022 - Milton Keynes, England

Law firm Shoosmiths has donated a total of £49,690 from the Shoosmiths Foundation to JERICHO, a charity supporting employment opportunities for people experiencing inequality in the job market.

The Shoosmiths Foundation was launched in 2021 to complement the law firm’s existing community investment programme, which supports local charity partners through staff fundraising and firm donations, staff volunteering and the provision of legal advice pro bono. The grant will support the firm’s strategic aim to advance social mobility, in line with the Shoosmiths social mobility action plan.

JERICHO was established in 1993 with the intention of changing the lives of people with complex, intersecting barriers to social mobility and inclusion.

Through the charity’s social enterprises and social projects located across Birmingham, it provides a range of supported work and training placements, giving people the necessary confidence and employable skills to thrive in the job market.

Funding from the Shoosmiths Foundation will go towards the JERICHO Jump Start project, which aims to underpin and extend the charity’s work with school pupils at risk of exclusion, young people not in education, and people with lived experience of trauma, abuse, modern slavery, health and wellbeing issues, the care system or criminal justice system, addiction or homelessness.

JERICHO Jump Start will see 75% of the 40 people engaged in the project enter sustainable employment, with the remaining 25% achieving their most appropriate positive destination.

Katie Webb, deputy CEO at JERICHO, said: “We are hugely grateful to Shoosmiths for being willing to help us further develop our work with people who face real and significant challenges in accessing the job market. We will use the funding from the Shoosmiths Foundation to provide additional, social mobility-focused support on top of the work and training opportunities we currently provide for 12 months and this extra support will help our beneficiaries achieve longer-term work and life goals and so ultimately have the very best chance of a fulfilled, happy life.

“Birmingham has long had an issue with high unemployment and holds the unwelcome top-spot amongst core cities in England for both youth and adult unemployment, even in the midst of a buoyant job market. JERICHO Jump Start, in partnership with the Shoosmiths Foundation, will ensure that local people with complex barriers are in the best position possible to take advantage of the mainstream job opportunities that exist locally and that they are also able to create a pathway to longer-term fulfillment in work and life. We are very excited at the prospect of developing a partnership with Shoosmiths and look forward to jointly delivering our social mobility goals.”

Nicola Ellen, head of corporate responsibility and chair of the Shoosmiths Foundation Grants Committee, added: “We are delighted to be able to provide support for JERICHO and the incredible work they do for people seeking employment, particularly as their cause aligns perfectly with the firm’s own social mobility aims. Whilst the project is focused on the Birmingham area, as a multi-location firm we will be looking for additional in-kind virtual opportunities whereby colleagues can become involved no matter where they are based.”

Further information about the Shoosmiths Foundation can be found here.