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(March 16, 2017) Gibbs Hybrid Workforce Solutions, a WEConnect International certified women-owned business and an international technology and digital workforce management solutions business head-quartered in Surrey – has forged a significant partnership with Barclays Citizenship team and Catch 22. All three parties have worked closely together over the past year to allow Gibbs to become the first ever partner to sign up to the Barclays Employability Programme – Connect with Work.  

Barclays Connect with Work is a unique UK-based employability programme connecting individuals seeking employment with recruiting corporates. The programme is aimed at supporting individuals aged 16+ with the aptitude and attitude to enter the workplace, but who face barriers to doing so. The programme helps to upskill these individuals, as well as helping them to connect with businesses who are recruiting. The programme additionally supports high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs, including clients and suppliers, to create entry-level jobs.  

Gibbs pioneered a solution that sees investments ploughed back into the community to enrich young people’s lives by working closely with Catch 22 to give apprentices the start in life they need. The initiative offers real experience and integration into a team, allowing apprentices to flourish and make a real difference to the business, while supporting them to gain a nationally recognised qualification.  

Farida Gibbs, CEO of Gibbs comments:  

“Here at Gibbs, innovation is a core part of who we are. We asked ourselves how we could support Barclays’ Shared Growth Ambition, part of which is to help people get back into work as well as benefitting the wider community. It made sense to me to find a way of reviewing investments to help Barclays achieve its citizenship programme aims and aspirations. Gibbs are so proud to be the pioneers of this scheme – we have turned a passionate dream into reality by using the initiative to really make a difference to people’s lives – upholding our own core values as well as those of the Barclays Citizenship Programme.”

Since the launch, Gibbs have managed to hire several apprentices from the Catch 22 programme who are now embedded into the business and are receiving the continual support and mentoring required to ensure they have a great start with their careers.  

Meghan Sheehan, Head of Investing, UK Citizenship, Barclays Citizenship & Reputation comments:  

“The commitment, leadership and willingness to collaborate that Gibbs Hybrid Workforce Solutions have shown means we are now in a position to focus on setting up the tools and processes to scale the programme in 2017. Our hope is to have over 1,000 individuals matched to jobs with our clients and suppliers. Gibbs have been pivotal in our successful launch of Connect with Work and I hope that more suppliers will follow their lead.”