Parker Merchanting is supporting Ready for Work to enable disadvantaged groups to get back into the world of work.

Ready for Work, is Business in the Community’s national programme which engages businesses to support disadvantaged groups, particularly people who have experienced homelessness, into employment. The programme also supports people who experience multiple barriers to getting into work including long-term unemployment, criminal convictions or lack of qualifications among others.

The four stage programme provides training, work placements and post-placement support to equip people with the skills and confidence they need to gain and sustain employment.

The Ready for Work programme works with 160 companies in 20 locations across the UK, and has supported 2,800 people into work since 2001. Last year, 335 people were recruited from the programme.

Nigel Smith, national account manager at Parker Merchanting, said: “I know particularly at the moment getting into work is not easy even with experience and qualifications let alone without, which is why we are really keen to get involved with Ready for Work programme.

“It was in fact our work with Carillion that encouraged us to join the scheme. We hope the programme will enable us to work with some great recruits and look forward to working with Business in the Community.”

Debra Fearnshaw, head of operations at Business in the Community, added: “The need for companies to provide support for people facing barriers to work has never been greater. It is only with help from companies such as Parker Merchanting that will enable us to continue to support disadvantaged people and together reach our target of helping 4,000 individuals into employment by 2016.”