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Lewis Access employs homeless people in collaboration with Radical Recruit

Lewis Access employs homeless people in collaboration with Radical Recruit

Lewis Access employs homeless people in collaboration with Radical Recruit

As we all know Brexit has had many repercussions across the nation.

As a scaffold tower manufacturer, it has affected our business in a few ways – one of the most important and urgent is staffing. For numerous years we have had an inclusive team of skilled tradespeople with many of them coming from European countries such as Poland and Romania. Naturally, this model has been hit hard by Brexit.

Our managing director, Mark Guirard, had already been advertising in a number of places to attract new team members but with little to no positive results.

Then a woman he knows contacted him to tell him about a charity she was helping. It turned out that her contact in the charity was working with a group that needed to be placed in jobs by the end of April 2021 in order for them to stay in the system and be placed in permanent accommodation.

Mark was a bit concerned if they would be okay around his factory’s machinery but his contact.

Elizabeth reassured him that these guys didn’t have any issues such as addictions that may cause them to be dangerous around machinery. And not only that but they really wanted to work!

Having been around European workers for almost two decades, Mark was able to empathise with their situation. “I know how hard it can be…I know they are looking for a break. And you know when the chips are down, they are down. I know I’ve got my family to run back to. I can borrow money from someone when the chips are down. These people have nothing and they end up on the streets. I do know that it’s a downhill spiral at that stage.”

So Mark agreed to interview these guys. He took all four of them on a trial basis. However, it was obvious that one of them was struggling to focus on the work, so Mark had a chat with him and they shook hands and he left the factory.

As for the three remaining men, they settled in really quickly. Mark got one of the guys to translate for them so they didn’t need to worry about not understanding instructions and training in English.

These men just needed a second chance. Lucky for them how the sequence of events worked out. From Lee who works for the charity, Radical Recruit, to Elizabeth who introduced Radical Recruit to Mark, and of course, because of Mark’s own attitude which also trickles down to the rest of the twenty-eight or so the team at Lewis Access.

These workers have had some harsh experiences before when they were homeless people and this means that they may lack self-belief as well as not feeling at ease with their boss. But at Lewis Access the atmosphere has helped them.

About Radical Recruit

RADICAL RECRUIT is pioneering a recruitment revolution – a movement that excites agitates and shakes things up within the recruitment industry. With over 100 years of lived and professional experience in the recruitment and social service industries, our founders and team of expert advisors are radically changing the fundamental nature of mainstream recruitment services.

We are an innovative social recruitment consultancy. We employ a values-led approach to sourcing talent and represent those who are underrepresented in the labour market; working exclusively with disadvantaged candidates from marginalised communities.

People from these marginalised communities have enormous potential but the sad reality is that their potential is overlooked because they are viewed through a lens of mistrust; perceived as antisocial or lacking skills to secure and sustain meaningful paid employment. Subsequently, our candidates are refused access to the labour market and discarded on a talent scrap heap; denied the opportunity to become contributing and valued members of society.

This is a waste of life. This is bad for business. This is detrimental to the UK economy.

RADICAL RECRUIT bridges the gap between this untapped pool of talent and the business world. We simultaneously deploy our business mind and community heart to facilitate the leap, from the rhetoric of diversity, equality and inclusion, to action.


ACTION that manifests in authentic, diverse, equitable and inclusive business practice.

ACTION that transforms the lives of individuals from marginalised communities.

ACTION that prevents children and young people from going into care.

ACTION that reduces homelessness.

ACTION that decreases crime and re-offending.

ACTION that alleviates poverty including in-work poverty.

ACTION addresses the inequity of opportunity faced by young people from ethnic minorities.

ACTION that recognises the skills obtained in service of the country by returned veterans.

ACTION that celebrates difference of ability.

ACTION that dismantles the systems and structures which render our candidates powerless.