Hogg Robinson Group (HRG), the world class corporate travel services company, is playing its part in helping homeless individuals to develop the skills they need to get back into work, through the Business Action on Homelessness (BAOH) Ready to Work programme.

The Ready to Work programme is run by Business in the Community (BITC). It supports homeless people into employment by securing work placements with leading employers, like HRG, and training buddies and job coaches to provide support during the person’s time with a company.

HRG became the first global corporate travel services company to become involved in the initiative – which celebrated its tenth anniversary earlier this year – when its Holborn Gate office welcomed Arthurina Johnson for a two week placement in January. Arthurina began her fortnight by shadowing HRG’s permanent receptionist Mark Barnard. Towards the end of the placement, the HRG team was so confident in Arthurina’s abilities that she was running the front desk, greeting clients and carrying out front of house duties.

Shetal Raval who represents HRG on the Business Action on Homelessness steering group and is responsible for finding ways for more HRG employees to get involved, said: “It is wonderful that our first taste of the Ready to Work programme in January was such a success and it has led us to consider how our involvement could potentially impact positively on HRG’s people more widely.

“Ready to Work gives our staff the chance to act as mentors for someone else, so it provides tangible opportunities for those who get involved to develop their coaching and mentoring skills. In that regard, we can see a huge amount of scope for the programme to be an integral part of our staff development programme in the future.”

Darren Coulby, BAOH London Manager added: “From relationship breakdowns, to loss of employment; substance dependencies to physical or mental illness – these are all factors that can result in homelessness. Although many people can, and do, overcome these types of scenarios, there are those who need a bit more help. This is why the Ready to Work programme is so vital and it needs the ongoing support of organisations like HRG to ensure its longevity and continued success.”

HRG’s work with the programme is set to continue and its Holborn Gate staff will welcome another Ready to Work client in May.