Up to 300 jobs are to be created within the next two years for survivors of modern-day slavery.
Up to 300 jobs are to be created within the next two years for survivors of modern-day slavery under a programme led by the Co-operative Group in partnership with local charity City Hearts.
Some of the UK’s leading businesses, are set to create up to 300 jobs for the victims of Modern Slavery by 2020.
Under the Bright Futures Programme, the Co-operative Group is working with City Hearts to provide work for people who are rescued from enslavement.
Already more than 30 vulnerable survivors are being given a chance to rebuild their lives after securing placements through Bright Future.
The Co-op said as many as 20 large firms are on the verge of signing up.
City Hearts have developed The National Matching System which will match candidates from Referring Partners, to Bright Future work placements, provided by Business Partners. Business Partners and referring partners will be required to sign up to minimum standards to ensure quality and consistency of principles and approach.
Importantly, The National Matching System also supports the candidates every step of the way through the process and beyond, through regular communication, practical and emotional assistance when required.
Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells said “We think of slavery as something for the history books but it is happening in the UK at this very moment. This is a blight on our society which impacts on our fellow human beings in the most unimaginable ways as they are stripped of their freedom and their dignity. Hidden in plain sight working in nail bars, car washes and in private homes.
“Having heard at first hand the harrowing stories of people who have been caught up in this heinous crime, I am proud that we are working to help eliminate it.
“It is clear that victims need to be supported while they rebuild their lives and central to that is the dignity that paid, freely chosen employment provides. Without this, there is a real chance that they could fall back into the hands of those who have exploited them and for the terrible, unspeakable cycle of enslavement to begin again.”
In addition to the Bright Future’s Programme and the National Matching Network, City Hearts vision is that all its services support survivors to thrive, by living independently and integrating fully into society.
City Hearts’ Project Development Manager Phill Clayton says “City Hearts works with victims of exploitation all over the world, pursing freedom and restoring the lives of some of the most vulnerable.
“We are proud to be working with the Coop, helping survivors in the UK rebuild their lives one step at time. A supported pathway to employment is a huge step on the road to restoration. With stable income comes hope of a brighter future, so many victims have had the freedom to work stolen from them, some for decades, bright future is a launch pad to a new life.
“We are committed to seeing lives fully restored. “
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