Keoghs Law, a firm based in Bolton, has won a national award for its outstanding commitment to investing in its staff and community.
Keoghs scooped the Employer award category, in the Festival of Learning awards 2019.
Working with Bolton Council, Bolton College and Jobcentre Plus through the Team Bolton partnership, Keoghs has supported 100 long-term unemployed people to access a sector-based work academy.
Almost half of these learners secured a job with Keoghs, with many more going on to find work elsewhere.
Jo Wright, head of people at Keoghs, said: “It’s really important to us to develop our employees. They’re the lifeblood of our organisation.
"And the sector-based work academy and other mentoring and engagement activities enable us to give back to our community. Every business is based in a community and proactively engaging with that community drives employer brand, loyalty and sources great employees.”
The Team Bolton partnership, established in 2013, works with more than 400 local employers to help improve local people’s skills and secure a job for them.
Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, Martyn Cox, added: “This award is well deserved and a testament to Keogh’s hard work and commitment to the local community.
“We have worked really closely with Keoghs, through the Team Bolton partnership, to get more local people into employment.
“It is great to see a local company like Keoghs, who invest in developing home grown talent, celebrated.”
The firm employs 1,700 people, provides comprehensive learning and development opportunities for staff at all levels, and offers more than 30 apprenticeships a year.
Keoghs also sponsors operational staff to take professional law qualifications, to help them build a career in law.
As well as benefitting employees, Keoghs has seen real business benefits from their approach.
As a result of their investment in learning and development staff retention has increased, sickness has fallen, and morale has improved.
Employee Nathan Barber said: “After 18 months out of work I attended an employability course with Keoghs at Bolton College, which turned out to be a life changing opportunity.
"The course boosted my confidence and improved my skills, and I was offered a job. The ongoing coaching and development support that I was provided with blew me away. Within seven months I had secured a promotion.”
Stephen Evans, chief executive, Learning and Work Institute, said: “This award highlights how investing in learning and development builds a motivated and ambitious workforce as well as improving performance and reducing costs for the business.
"We commend Keogh for their commitment to the training and upskilling of their own staff and working with their local community to widen the reach of the opportunities that they provide.
"Festival of Learning is all about the inspirational stories of people and employers like Keoghs, which show that everyone can benefit from learning.
"Lifelong learning is vital for all of us as jobs and society change. We encourage everyone to give learning a try so if you want to find out how learning could benefit you, get in touch your local college, community learning provider or the National Careers Service.”
Organised by Learning and Work Institute, and supported by the Department for Education, Festival of Learning is an annual campaign which aims to celebrate the power of learning to transform lives, and to encourage more adults to take part.