Having a range of suppliers in our supply chain has many benefits. It also gives smaller companies and social enterprises access to our business - helping them achieve a more stable customer base and become more sustainable. It’s particularly important in this tough economic climate, as small businesses bear much of the brunt of the downturn.
We’re a member of Minority Supplier Development UK (MSD UK), an organisation that builds bridges between large corporations and minority ethnic businesses. We’ve been on the judging panel for all of for the MSD UK's annual awards, and have also provided insight and guidance on how to respond to tenders from large businesses. We use the insight gained from this involvement to promote diversity in our supplier base.
And, we offer English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses for supplier staff based at our London offices who want to improve their English. They can attend these during their working hours.
Find out more about how we're building an inclusive and diverse workplace.
Since its inception in 2006 we've supported the Real Apprentice Scheme, an initiative run by our supplier MITIE that aims to reduce unemployment in UK communities by boosting the skills of potential employees or 'apprentices'.
We’ve hosted 27 Real Apprentices since 2006. Of these, 19 have secured full time jobs elsewhere and three are still with us.
In 2011, the scheme broke new ground by targeting people who have experienced mental health issues. MITIE placed five of last year's participants within our London offices.
We strive to treat suppliers fairly and - assuming performance meets the terms agreed - seek to pay promptly. Our payment terms are 30 days. In the financial year ending June 2013, the average number of days outstanding between receipt of invoice and date of payment was 30 (2012: 28).