In the UK, Sopra Steria works with communities to understand the potential impacts and benefits our operations bring to the area. We then work to make a positive difference for communities in four key ways:
- Providing opportunities for education and skills development, and supporting educational institutions
- Expanding digital inclusion
- Championing entrepreneurship
- Supporting our employees’ community and charitable work
Supporting employees’ community and charitable work
Sopra Steria's culture is to encourage all employees to get involved in community activities, either those we organise as a company, or initiatives they care about and want to support in their personal lives. To enable them to do this, we offer all employees one day's paid company time to volunteer, we operate a Community Matters week that champions community involvement, and we provide matched funds and enabling grants.
In our matched funding programme, when an employee raises money for a charity, the company will provide additional funding to increase the donation to the receiving organisation. Enabling Grants are awarded to assist employee volunteers in developing community projects in which they are involved. Each year, more than 65 good causes were supported via this MF/EG scheme.
Community Matters is a week-long campaign in which hundreds of employees organise events to raise funds in support of their chosen charities and community organisations.
These community programmes support more than 90 charities and community projects, including education initiatives and schools, mental health and medical research, hospitals and hospices, homelessness, nature and animal welfare. For example, an enabling grant was awarded to an employee working with CEN UK in Nepal following serious earthquakes. CEN UK were deployed to provide temporary shelter and assistance in the remote hilltop villages outside of Kathmandu primarily in the Ashrang district, and the enabling grant helped with the purchase, deployment and construction of temporary accommodation.
Education, skills training and employment
Throughout the company, our people dedicate their time and knowledge to help young people and the disadvantaged get education, training and improved employment prospects. For example, we establish partnerships with local schools, colleges and universities to provide career talks, work tasters, interview skills development, support for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) programmes, and entrepreneurship contests. We have also established schools in India to provide education to children who may not otherwise have this opportunity: over the years, we’ve provided education or training to approximately 66,000 children and young people, supported 26 libraries and offered skills development opportunities to Sopra Steria’s extended staff such as cleaners and gardeners.
Some examples of our recent work
- Advising Oldham College on developing digital courses to help ensure their students are preparing for the jobs of today and the future. We earned the College’s Outstanding Employer Contribution of the Year award
- Providing mentorship to students from Gloucestershire College who participated in our ‘Dragons’ Den’-style entrepreneurship contest the previous year to help them further develop their business ideas
- Sponsoring a Mozilla Badge for Enterprise for Gloucestershire College. Students who earn our badge must demonstrate they have acquired entrepreneurial skills by undertaking work outside their normal academic curriculum
- Signing the UK Government’s Digital Inclusion Charter which commits us to working towards greater Digital Inclusion across the country
- Designing digital inclusion projects in partnership with our clients, to be carried out in 2016
- Offering opportunities for formal qualifications and employment to young people in the communities we serve through our apprenticeship scheme. In 2015, we recruited 29 new apprentices, bringing the total to 51 by then end of that year
- Providing work placement opportunities - for example in Gloucestershire we provided placements to three local children, including one from a disadvantaged background