Farewell blog: Outgoing Movement to Work Head of Outreach Debs Gordon

 who came to MTW from Centrica in 2018 and since then has put her heart and soul into developing our partner network, creating an impact-driven ecosystem of training providers and youth outreach entities to support MtW’s employer members with their employability programmes. Deb shares some thoughts as she moves on to pastures new…

Debs Gordon

Starting a role with a new employer presents me with excitement plus a flutter of nerves. As I progress my career, the balance of excitement and nerves change but they are with me.  Imagine these feelings for a person who has faced barriers to employment and is about to commence a journey that can change their and their family’s lives. Movement to Work (MtW) has helped to facilitate that opportunity to over 125,000 people since it started in 2013 with 60% positive outcomes (for WEX and Direct Entry). MtW is a coalition of UK employers advising other employers on best practices to successfully recruit and retain those who would fail the usual recruitment process. This additional channel to attract candidates creates a pipeline of overlooked talent on our doorstep and helps develop a diverse workforce representative of the UK population.

Whilst employed at Centrica, my journey with MtW also started at its inception in 2013. As MtW matured, the Steering Group realised employers needed more to support those facing barriers to employment. Then and now, the questions are: How much will a new channel to recruitment cost? Which funding stream and employability programme suits our needs? Which training providers should we approach? We have staff and/or skill shortages, what can we do to augment our talent pipeline? How does all this fit in with our current recruitment processes? In 2018, MtW commenced the development of the Approved Partner Network (APN) to answer the above and more. Then in 2018, I was fortunate to be selected to move from Centrica to Movement to Work and manage the development of the APN.

Reflecting on the last 3.5 years, MtW has augmented its offering to employers and now provides specialist advice on all the above questions. Particularly important to me is that MtW provides impartial advice. The MtW Steering Group has always advocated free advice to employers, and partners join the APN by merit not by one-off charge or subscription.

Reflecting on my time at MtW, I have been and still am humbled by the magnificent work completed by our employer members and partners. MtW is an important part of the process of brokering the connections and supporting the process to BAU but it is the effort and courage shown by employers and partners which speaks volumes evidenced by the growing number of case studies.

As MtW progresses towards its next aim of supporting another 100,000 opportunities for those facing barriers to work, I am sure new employers will make contact to share their best practice and accelerate their learning on how to both increase and diversify their workforce. Never in my career has it become so important to look at new channels and levels of support to help those facing barriers to employment. Part of the excitement I mentioned at the start of this blog is my continuing involvement with MtW. Returning to a talent acquisition role, MtW will be a source of up-to-date advice and a safe place to chat through ideas.

Thank you to all involved in MtW. You have enriched me as a person and a professional and l look forward to the next stage of our journey together.  #YoungPeopleWork