Croydon Council has been named public sector employer of the year at a national awards ceremony for promoting equality and inclusion.
The council won the title after making it through to the finals in three separate categories of the enei awards, scooping the top prize in one while being highly commended in another.
The Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei) is the leading employer network promoting equality and inclusion in the workplace. It influences government, business and trade unions, campaigning for real practical change.
At the awards, Croydon Council’s apprenticeship programme won first prize in the apprenticeships category, beating four other finalists. The programme has successfully increased employment opportunities for young people in borough, welcoming those from underrepresented groups with little or no work experience.
The apprentices, who are ambassadors for the council, are also asked to speak in schools to students and young people to further break down socio-economic barriers. All of the 25 apprentices that joined the programme at its launch in October 2017 are still with the council.
The council’s second success came when the council’s mental health network was highly commended in the employee network of the year category. The network has worked hard to remove the stigma around mental health by recognising the stressful environments staff sometimes work in, arranging free personalised health assessments for staff. This has had a positive impact on the work of the team, with staff survey feedback revealing 82% of staff are comfortable with talking about their mental health and 89% believing their personal circumstances are understood by their manager.
The council’s menopause steering group also made it through to the finals in the impact through innovation category.
These three successes resulted in Croydon being named public sector employer of the year.
“This is a fantastic achievement and welcome recognition that Croydon Council is leading the way in promoting equality and inclusion in the workplace. Equality, diversity and inclusion are core principles of the cabinet and council staff work hard to instil these values at the very heart of our organisation so that they inform everything we do, with our staff and with our communities.
“My congratulations on behalf of the cabinet to all our staff for their commitment to our values and their innovation in delivering them for Croydon.”
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities