Supporting our communities
We are committed to contributing long-term value and making a lasting, positive impact on the society in which we operate. We do this by engaging with our community and our clients’ communities across all our businesses and maintaining a range of programmes to support the causes that benefit those around us.
The Close Brothers SME Apprentice Programme is part of our long-established commitment to supporting small and medium sized enterprises within our local communities. We believe the SME sector is the lifeblood of the UK economy and strongly encourage the role of apprentices in helping SMEs grow. Our SME Apprentice Programme is now in its fifth phase and continues to contribute to the funding of new apprentices in the manufacturing and transport sectors, helping SMEs secure the skills they need for the future.
Supporting social mobility
We are supportive of social mobility and creating an organisation with equal opportunities for all, regardless of background. Our established programmes for school leavers and graduates contribute to the development of our new talent pipeline, providing on-the-job learning and supporting study towards professional qualifications. Our Aspire programme provides school leavers with the opportunity to start their careers in a professional, challenging and fast-paced business.
We continue to work with the charity UpReach on our internship programme for undergraduates from less-advantaged backgrounds.
Our employees in the community
We actively encourage our staff to fundraise and volunteer for the causes that matter to them, and recognise that employee volunteers are the driving force behind the successful planning and running of our community and charitable events.
The Close Brothers Matched Giving Scheme donates £8 per hour of voluntary time given by our employees, and we actively encourage our people to make use of our Employee Volunteering Policy, which allows all employees to take one paid volunteering day each year.
As part of our regular employee opinion survey, we ask our employees to choose their preferred community and health charity partners. This year, Make-A-Wish Foundation, who grant wishes for children with life threatening illnesses, was selected as our community charity partner and Cancer Research UK as our health charity partner. Funds raised from group-wide activities are equally split between these two charities.
The Close Brothers Matched Giving Scheme matches 50% of funds raised for charity by employees. We also match funds raised by other local, organised fundraising activities, encouraging employees to work together to raise money for causes that are close to their hearts. We have maintained our Payroll Giving Quality Mark Gold Award for ten consecutive years, ensuring that we have achieved our target of maintaining this standard.
This year, the group also decided to make a £1 million donation to NHS Charities Together, in recognition of the vital role that NHS frontline and support staff have in combating Covid-19.