DWP: Free employer toolkit set to boost disadvantaged groups in work

  • Businesses encouraged to hire more workers from disadvantaged groups, including single parents, homeless people and care leavers
  • New toolkit offers practical advice for employers to attract and support a wider pool of talent
  • Approach developed in partnership with industry leaders, including Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden


A first-of-its-kind employer toolkit designed to help businesses recruit and retain more single parents and care leavers has been launched by the DWP.

People from disadvantaged groups face challenges that many others do not – such as having to work around childcare requirements, lack of formal qualifications or gaps in their employment history. Ministers want to help more people from these groups to get into lasting employment and reap the benefits that come from work.

Employers are encouraged to use the free ‘See Potential’ toolkit, which includes guidance on recruitment practices, tips to support people to stay in work and a directory of organisations that are able to assist in making workplaces more inclusive. Nine out of ten companies who hire from disadvantaged groups say that doing so has brought them benefits such as improved brand reputation and production growth.

Minister for Employment Damian Hinds said:

“Too often care leavers and other disadvantaged groups are overlooked when applying for jobs, which is completely unacceptable and must change.

“More and more employers are recognising the benefits that come with hiring people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and we want to help them make a positive impact on people’s lives and to boost their own productivity.

“The free and expert advice contained in the new See Potential toolkit gives businesses the framework needed to make their workplace a more inclusive environment, and is available to download now.”

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, said:

“I believe in giving everyone a chance in life. Hiring people should be about talent – not background. I would encourage all companies to recruit more people from disadvantaged groups.”

Dragons’ Den investor and business entrepreneur Deborah Meaden said:

“When it comes to business flair and enthusiasm, I can vouch that people from disadvantaged groups are a prudent investment.”

The Government’s See Potential campaign aims to help businesses fill skills gaps and diversify workplaces by encouraging them to hire people from disadvantaged groups.

The toolkit is the result of a wide range of evidence, which includes findings such as:

  • Over two thirds of employers struggling to fill vacancies due to skills shortages report experiencing a direct financial impact;
  • Nearly two thirds of small business owners think military veterans bring valuable skills and knowledge to business; and
  • More than 3 in 4 companies have actively become more inclusive workplaces in the last five years.

    The toolkit is available for download here.

Author: Editorial Team

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