Positive News: How businesses are keeping the wheels turning

HR up and down the UK is introducing new employees to the workplace and supporting those who have continued to work both physically and in remote locations. We highlight just a few of the many brilliant initiatives HR is leading to help employees throughout a COVID winter.

Talent diversity


Investment banking company Citi has announced a new London apprentice scheme.

Designed to kick-start a career in financial services, the scheme is open to anyone aged 18 and over without a university qualification who can show potential and motivation to learn, including those that have left graduate schemes, and people looking for a change in career. Thirteen individuals joined the scheme on 9 November.

Dino Zannetos, chief operating officer of treasury and trade solutions EMEA at Citi, told HR magazine: “The generation we are recruiting through the programme was born in the digital era. We are hoping they will bring a different way of looking at things to the table as we promote digitalisation across the bank.

“They have huge potential, a strong motivation to join the business, great energy and a huge desire to learn. We will help them to take their careers wherever they want to go.”


Pursuing a strong diversity drive in a climate that continues to have a disproportionate impact on certain social groups, business services firm EY has managed to increase its recruitment of young people, women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds this year.

Across the UK in 2020, the company has hired and trained a total of 854 graduates and 194 apprentices. Of those apprentices, 43% of the students recruited this year are female (up from 39% last year), 41% are from an ethnic minority (up from 38%, last year), and 3% of students are Black.

EY has said it will continue to build its talent pipeline across the country. Intake in Edinburgh, Hull, Luton, Reading and Southampton offices were particularly strong compared with 2019.

Hywel Ball, EY UK chair, said: “Young talent is essential to our future business success and to shaping the skills we will need to remain competitive. I’m proud that we’ve maintained our commitment to student recruitment this year, despite COVID-19, and that we’ve honoured all the conditional offers we made prior to A-level results.”

Police Now

Independent charity Police Now has launched a campaign to address the issues of racial inequality, discrimination and lack of representation in the police force. As part of its effort the 60-second film Change the Story has been released online designed to inspire talented graduates from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to join the police.

The script admits policing needs to “do better” when it comes to diversity, and features police sergeant Upile Mtitimila, a graduate of the organisation’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, Simon Woolley, a Police Now trustee, and David Spencer, Police Now co-founder and CEO.

Spencer said: “We want talented graduates from all community backgrounds to join us, help rebuild trust and change the face of policing. The Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme offers unique opportunities for ambitious university-leavers and graduates to become great leaders.”

The full piece of the above appears in the November/December 2020 print issue. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk.