A CHRISTCHURCH-based manufacturer has thrown its weight behind a new initiative to combat poverty and boost employment and social mobility. 

John Reid & Sons (Strucsteel) Ltd, known as REIDsteel, is one of the first members of the Jobs Foundation, which unites industry leaders and entrepreneurs nationwide. 

Managing director Simon Boyd has become a trustee of the independent charity and quality, health, safety and environment manager Jo White features on the foundation’s website and launch video. 

The initiative will help firms to learn from each other to do even more in their local communities to relieve poverty and unemployment.

Bournemouth Echo: Joanne White Joanne White (Image: Deep South Media)

The Foundation is headed by an Advisory Council of business leaders from a range of sectors, locations and sizes, all uniting behind the message that a successful society requires successful businesses.     

Simon Boyd, managing director at 130-strong REIDsteel, described business as a force for good which can contribute good to society. 

He said: “Business provides jobs, drives the economy and funds our country’s vital public services through its taxes and those of its employees. 

“I’m a firm believer in social mobility. In any business, the people are the company. Helping them to fulfil their potential can only be good for them and our company. 

“We are proud to support the Jobs Foundation in its mission to help alleviate poverty and unemployment while creating greater social mobility and delivering benefits for business, society and the economy.”

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Georgiana Bristol, chief executive of the Jobs Foundation, said: “By creating the jobs which take people out of poverty, offering training to help people fulfil their potential, and funding public sector jobs through taxation, businesses offer an economic and social infrastructure for the country and help reduce poverty.” 

The Jobs Foundation is planning to spend the next year identifying companies that have excelled at helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds so other companies can learn from this best practice. 

Matthew Elliott, president of the Jobs Foundation, said: “We hope to recruit 500 business leaders to our movement by the end of 2023 and 1,000 by the end of 2024. 

“Business leaders are already superstars in the fight against poverty, but working together they can do even more to help people in need. 

“It’s a mission that connects people of all political hues and none and I hope the business community will rally behind it.”