Influencing, partnerships and sharing
Ralph Facey, Radian Group Director for Housing & Customer Services talks about joining GUAC.
‘Radian has always supported the employment and skills agenda; however up until 2010 we had not committed any serious resources in terms of cash or staff. We became members of GUAC at about the time we wanted to become far more engaged in helping Radian customers find employment. Our first priority was helping young people get into work; we all know that high levels of youth unemployment are a waste of talent and it stores up all sorts of community issues.
With the advice and support of GUAC we have developed an excellent partnership with A4e using the youth contract wage subsidy. Over the past two years we helped train and employ more than 30 young people which has seen 86% of the participants going on to find long term jobs.
The benefit of having a consortium like GUAC is that it utilises the knowledge base of other social landlords who are doing great things in the employment and skills area and having advisers who have all the key contacts in the employment sector to make things happen on the ground. Our partnership with A4e was not all plain sailing at first and would have hit the rocks if we did not have the back up of GUAC who could speak to senior people at A4e when necessary.
I also think it is important that as social landlords developing expertise to help our customers find work we share our thoughts and experience not just within our own sector sector but to wider audiences including the policy makers in Westminster. Any serious attempt at tackling long term unemployment has to include social landlords and that is why the political engagement GUAC undertakes is so important.
Employment and skills are an absolute priority at Radian. We want as many of our customers as possible to find sustainable work and we know we can help make that possible.’