Living wage, better job opportunities, unfair recruitment practices

The Cardiff Bay area has been well developed over the last two decades, with lots of big-name businesses and organisations having a presence. However, many living nearby in Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown still feel underrepresented; be it at the National Assembly, Local Authority or within the many of the major businesses. The Butetown Employment and Action Team is a local initiative made up of frustrated residents and leaders in Cardiff who have been taking action on major employers on their door-step by primarily bringing local people together to get more involved with their community and negotiating for change. The purpose of this action was to raise awareness of the issues that local people have felt strongly about and have expressed to us – these were employers paying the living wage, offering better job opportunities and stopping unfair recruitment practices. We gave a number of employers letters explaining this and included 10 questions to collect information from them. These included: Does the employer have ethnic minority people working in their firm and if so, how many? Do they pay the living wage? Do they issue zero-hour contracts? We were surprised to receive a response from one company via email right away asking to meet with us and interested in looking into paying the Living Wage. Other companies we approached were happy to engage in conversations and return the surveys to us in due course. As a result, we have our The Bay Citizens’ Community Jobs Compact is a reciprocal agreement between the local community and the employer, co-produced by employers and communities together, and signed by major employers such as Ikea, ITV Wales, Careers Wales, and Welsh Parliament. It aims to combat such incidences by bringing local people and employers together to tackle poverty, unemployment and under-representation in the workforce. The compact is an agreement with employers where signatories are obligated to accredit as a Living Wage employer, to recruit using name-blind and address-blind CVs and/or guarantee an interview to residents who meet the criteria. Also, to introduce unconscious bias training for interviewers. The Compact will ensure all staff have the option of a permanent contract, and demonstrate opportunities for growth and development, for instance through internal career progression and mentoring. Our solution is to support local people by bringing them together with major employers in the Bay and City Centre to tackle poverty, unemployment and under-representation in the workforce. BEAT has been busy building positive relationships between people of different ages and backgrounds across the Butetown neighbourhood with the ultimate aim to get local businesses to become aware of the issues from local people, build relationships with each other and the local community, and work towards a different type of relationship. As it brings communities together who are not usually united to be united around a common issue and work together in solidarity to bring about effective change and make a difference for the better by developing opportunities for all.




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