Christchurch manufacturer among first members of new nationwide employment initiative

Simon Boyd, Managing Director of REIDSteel.

By Sam Pither [email protected]

Published: July 10, 2023 | Updated: 9th July 2023

REIDsteel logo

John Reid & Sons, the Christchurch-based manufacturer known as REIDSteel, has become one of the first members of the newly launched Jobs Foundation.

The Foundation is bringing together industry leaders and entrepreneurs from around the country with the aim of helping to combat poverty and boost employment and social mobility.

Simon Boyd, Managing Director at REIDSteel

Simon Boyd

REIDSteel’s Managing Director, Simon Boyd, has become a trustee of the independent charity, while Jo White, the firm’s Quality, Health, Safety and Environment Manager features on the Foundation’s website and launch video.

Headed by an advisory council of business leaders from a range of sectors, locations and sizes, the Foundation aims to promote the message that businesses are the most effective creator of jobs and social mobility and therefore a successful society requires successful businesses.

It will look to offer firms the platform to learn from each other how they can help to relieve poverty and unemployment in their local communities.

Simon Boyd, managing director at 130-strong REIDsteel, said: “Business is a force for good.

“It makes an incredibly positive contribution to our society. 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.”

REIDSteel's QSHE Manager, Jo White

REIDSteel’s QSHE Manager, Jo White

One example of REIDSteel’s efforts to support its staff can be found with QSHE Manger Jo White.

Originally joining the firm as maternity cover in an administrative role, Jo wanted to train in health and safety management.

Simon mentored Joanne and the company funded her professional qualification. Now she plays a key role at REIDsteel, working with construction site and workshop staff to ensure everyone stays safe.

Georgiana Bristol, Chief Executive of the Jobs Foundation, said: “The biggest and most effective engine to tackle poverty is the business community.

“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.”

According to research from the Social Metrics Commission in 2020, securing a full-time salaried job reduces the risk of falling into poverty by 90 per cent, while unemployment raises the risk of poverty by eight times.

The Foundation intends to spend the next year identifying companies which have excelled at helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds with the aim of helping other companies learn from their example.

It will also study the needs of specific regions in order to prioritise those areas most in need, offering targeted support.

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.”

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