Henderson Retail ‘Roots to Wings’ initiative a huge success

Henderson Retail today celebrated the success of its ‘Roots to Wings’ initiative – its bi-annual work placement programme which seeks to help people who are unemployed. 63% of this year’s participants have moved into full-time employment.

Since 2010, Henderson Retail, in partnership with Business in the Community’s Citywide Employers’ Forum, has been delivering a customised work placement programme targeted at unemployed/long-term unemployed individuals who live in the greater Belfast area. Participants are required to take part in a one-day induction session delivered by Henderson Retail staff followed by a two-week work placement at a local SPAR store.

Emma Gibson, Group Human Resources Manager, Henderson Group said: “This year’s programme has been a huge success with five people moving into employment following their participation in the programme. I’m proud to say that Henderson Retail has been involved in ‘Roots to Wings’ for five years now. It’s really rewarding to see the huge impact it has made on the participants by helping them to kick-start their career and build a brighter, better future.”

Deirdre Timoney, Director, Citywide Employers’ Forum, Business in the Community commented: “We are delighted with the outcome of this year’s ‘Roots to Wings Programme’, all eight participants are much more ‘work-ready’ and five of them have already gained employment.

“Being out of work has a significant impact on people’s confidence, finances and future earning power. Increasingly, responsible employers – like Henderson Retail – are recognising that by investing business expertise and resources in employability programmes, they are improving the circumstances of those who are unemployed, thereby investing in local communities as a whole. None of this would have been possible without the support of the Forum’s sponsors, which include Bombardier (Belfast), Belfast City Council, the Department for Employment & Learning, LEMISplus and Lagan Construction Group.”

If your business would like to get involved in the helping people who are long-term unemployed and reap the resulting business benefits, please e-mail deirdre.timoney@bitcni.org.uk or call (028) 9046 0606.

For more information on Business in the Community, visit www.bitcni.org.uk