Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Stepping Away From All Traditional Approaches, Standard Life Introduces “Living Wage” Even For School Drop Outs


The scheme of “Living Wage” will also be open for school drop outs who join the company of Standard Life for a six-months training session.

Dailycsr.com – 21 September 2015 – Standard Life runs an “investment savings business”, which, during a self assessment period, realised that it no longer provided “traditional school entry point”, whereby the sustainability head Sandy MacDonald explains:
“We weren’t heavily recruiting in those areas where we’d traditionally been first port of call for school leavers, ie in customer service and IT. In past years these areas were more densely staffed but changes in technology had meant we had fewer opportunities in these areas and therefore we were not the immediate point of entry we once were”.
Coincidentally, the realisation came timely with the government urging all the “FTSE100” companies to look into the “youth unemployment” issue. In order to launch itself deeper into the matter, Standard signed up “the Edinburgh Guarantee scheme”. The Edinburgh Guarantee has been constructed out of the partnership of local Scottish businesses and the council of Edinburgh city which offers “recent school leavers” a six month “paid work experience”. The payment comes from the “Standard Life” as per the “UK Living Wage level”. Within a period of two years, the scheme has involved “93 young people”.
Some among the ones who joined the scheme, joined the company on a permanent basis after the completion of the scheme period, while others continued to undertake either further training, higher education or seeking other employment. The scheme has helped to reduce the number of unemployed school drop outs to “230” from the previous “2007/2008” figures of “592”. Presently, Standard Life has incorporated the “scheme into its business model”. 
Being a pioneer in activities related to “social mobility”, Standard Life has done a lot more than just providing employment; in MacDonald’s words:
“It’s about progressing up the career ladder and helping people break out of traditional set work patterns of progress. In the UK, people in low paid jobs often stay in them, resulting in a cycle of low pay. It’s about breaking that model.”
Moreover, he also adds that there are various ways whereby Standard Life can intervene in social upliftment:
“We can fund programmes and we can build programmes. What we do is about layering interventions. It’s not always about creating opportunities for people at Standard Life, but it’s about a more general, bigger picture in its bid ‘to build more prosperous futures’, the business’s ‘why’”.
In another instances, the recognition of “Living Wage” employer earned by Standard Life highlights that the company is implementing the said policy to help the workers improve their “earnings spectrum”. Moreover, it has also introduced the interns’ wage into this approach. Now Standard Life will also include all graduates and school leavers alike into the scheme of “Living Wage”.
In fact standard Life also invests in collaboration with SkillForce into programmes that help the school children to improve their level of Maths and English; while the senior managers of Standard Life take part in “Career Academies”, wherein they hold workshop in order to mentor children during the transition from their school life into their work life. MacDonald also states:
“There are fewer opportunities available for school leavers because of the nature of the roles we have in our London offices. So what we’ve done there is to work with the Prince’s Trust and to fund a subsidy programme to match young people with work experience or jobs in SMEs. Smaller organizations find it more difficult to take a gamble on taking on a young person, so our funding helps take away some of the dilemma. The Prince’s Trust does the matching. It’s very innovative and has resulted in some organizations taking on some people even without the subsidy.”