OCS receive social value commendation at ERSA Employability Awards 2023

OCS were honoured to receive a social value commendation at the ERSA Employability Awards 2023.

We always aim to be our best, delivering the best partnerships and best services every time. It takes a hard-working, knowledgeable and compassionate team to provide the services and initiatives at OCS and we are extremely proud of our commendation.

The ERSA Employability Awards celebrate best practice in the employment support sector and demonstrate the hard work and dedication of those working to improve the lives of jobseekers, communities and the wider workforce.

We were also thrilled to have been nominated by Ingeus for the ‘Employer Partnership of the Year Award’.

Unlocking potential: placing people into work with OCS

The nomination

We are committed to being a responsible employer and building a diverse and inclusive workforce reflective of the communities we serve. We have an established ‘Placing People into Work’ programme dedicated to changing lives by providing meaningful employment to people from vulnerable groups and pathways for development for all our colleagues.

Ingeus and OCS work closely together to develop and refine tailored recruitment processes for each contract. By tailoring the pre-selection process, we ensure that candidates are equipped with everything they need to help them succeed in work. This includes making sure candidates have the necessary documents, information and training ahead of being interviewed, and that support mechanisms are in place for new recruits once they are in work.

Ingeus is now supporting us to fill vacancies for Court Tribunal and Security Officers (CTSO) in London and Greater Manchester. Together we have developed and refined a recruitment process, established service level agreements, and are now delivering exceptional results. In the last such recruitment exercise there were 20 candidates put forward for interview who secured job offers.

To help prepare candidates for interview Ingeus works with OCS to:

  • Source candidates with the right skills and aptitudes for the role
  • Deliver employer information sessions
  • Fund participants Security Industry Association (SIA) licences
  • Deliver a bespoke 3-day CTSO routeway course (designed by OCS)
  • Arrange a visit to a local court
  • Prepare documents for the enhanced security vetting processes

All candidates who successfully complete the CTSO routeway course are put forward for interview.

In the first recruitment round, Ingeus Employer Account Manager Farwa spent several weeks calling 160 potential applicants to see whether the role would suit them. She narrowed the search down to 12 people who attended a three-day Routeway Course devised by Ingeus to explain the job in detail. Seven people were offered roles, four of whom are female.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the building – people were jumping up and down with delight after getting the jobs,” she recalls. “An established company had given them a chance and you couldn’t help but feel the emotion in the room.”

In undertaking this innovative and tailored approach to recruitment through Ingeus, we are attracting candidates who would not typically apply for our vacancies. In doing so we are challenging role stereotypes (gender, age, ethnicity etc.) and creating a stronger workforce which is more reflective of the communities we work within.

Stephen Kerr, Senior Regional Manager, OCS, said the partnership had been instrumental in supporting our drive to attract women and others currently under-represented in the security industry.

“Working with Ingeus on our social value recruitment process, we have been able to recruit talented people into our workforce who have unique experiences and abilities,” he said. “In our role at HM Courts and Tribunals Service, showing our customers genuine empathy in difficult circumstances is a key skill and our Ingeus recruits have that in abundance.”

Ann-Marie Conlon-Taylor, OCS Social Value Manager, HMCTS contract added: “Working with Ingeus helps us access people who have faced barriers to work, but who are being properly supported in a professional manner into employment. We were very impressed with the calibre of applicants put forward.”

It’s Road Safety Week!

We invite you to participate in Road Safety Week that is running from November 19th to 25th. The week is about spreading awareness, fostering mindfulness, and ensuring safety for ourselves and each other on the roads.

Our goal is simple: to save lives.

Each year, countless lives are affected by road accidents, but together, we can make a difference. By coming together during Road Safety Week, we can:

  • Raise awareness: Help others understand the importance of safe driving, responsible pedestrian behaviour, and the consequences of road accidents.
  • Promote mindfulness: Encourage everyone to be more mindful while on the road, whether behind the wheel or walking as pedestrians.
  • Ensure safety for all: Share tips, best practices, and resources to make our roads safer for everyone.
  • Visit brake.org.uk to download posters and resources to help spread the word and drive the message home.

Join us in making roads safer and preventing accidents during Road Safety Week. We can create a positive impact, save lives, and build a safer community.

Drive Safely!

OCS Foundation: People into Work programme

What is the People into Work programme?

People into Work is a unique UK programme, developed by the OCS Foundation, which aims to change individuals’ lives for the better by bringing sustainable employment opportunities to local individuals who have been in long-term unemployment, are ex-serving personnel, or face specific mental health or physical challenges.

Our people are the heart of everything we do as a business and our people-centred approach is what allows us to deliver not only the best practices and best experiences for our customers, but the best place of work for our employees.

The programme has already supported over 290 people with their own employment journey, and over 50 people have been brought into sustainable employment within OCS to date.

Jeffrey’s story

OCS helped Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Jeffrey Akrasi return to work. With support from The Forces Employment Charity, Jeffrey obtained the necessary qualifications and is now a Deputy Contract Manager at WLNT NHS Trust.

“I came into the West London contract on January 22nd after serving three tours in the army. I transitioned my employment into OCS from FEC, a well-known forces employment charity. I’m looking forward to remaining in the OCS family and working to the company’s values.”

OCS supports Scottish Autism Charity with a sensory room for a local school

As part of its commitment to delivering social value within its communities, OCS were delighted to help Scottish Autism’s New Struan School, based in Alloa, create a new sensory room designed to help enrich the learning experience of its pupils. The project took around six months and was supported by OCS’ customer, SCTS (The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service), and its local supply chain.

The OCS team, some of whom have a personal connection with the charity, donated their time and resources, working closely with the school to ensure that the refurbishment of the existing sensory room best met the needs of the young people – this was done by creating an internal space with an external feel. Works included sensory flooring, a bespoke mural including user drawings, bespoke lighting, sound system, sensory equipment and a quiet corner. The new room will form an important part of the everyday experience for young people at New Struan, and the staff team are ‘delighted and excited’ by the new resource.

New Struan Head Teacher Lee-Anne McAulay said: “The partnership with OCS has been an absolute dream for us; the team entirely supported our vision, and nothing was too much to ask. We wanted to ensure that the sensory room would be part of the everyday sensory regulation for our young people and built into the curriculum. Too often, the perception of such resources is that they are somewhere for young people to be sent when they are struggling to regulate or distressed. We wanted a space to flip that expectation and make it integral to the school experience. I cannot overstate the benefit our young people will get from this calm, beautiful sensory space.”

Colin Rushforth, Account Director at OCS, added: “Scottish Autism is a charity which gives so much to the Scottish community and is close to my heart. With the support of our dedicated team and supply chain, we at OCS were delighted to help such a great cause and work with the fantastic staff at New Struan School.

“From the outset, our joint vision with Michael Laurie Architects and the New Struan staff was to create a bespoke space which would bring an outdoor feeling indoors. We feel the completed project reflects this. We hope the young people enjoy their new Sensory Room and look forward to supporting Scottish Autism in future projects.”

Wear Red and Show Racism The Red Card

Show Racism the Red Card is the UK’s leading anti-racism charity, and ‘Wear Red Day’ is their national day of action.

Wear Red Day is the UK’s largest anti-racism fundraiser, with over 444,000 people poised to take a stand this Friday. The day is about more than just a colour, it’s about creating unity, it’s about starting a discussion, and most of all, it’s about taking a stand against all forms of racism.

As part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we’re encouraging our colleagues to wear red on the 20th of October to combat racism. From socks to scrunchies, t-shirts to onesies, wear red to stand against discrimination.

Find out more about the day by watching the video below.

Show Racism the Red Card was established in January 1996, in collaboration with then ex-Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Shaka Hislop.

While playing for Newcastle in the 1990s, Shaka was at a petrol station near St James’ Park when he was confronted by a group of young people shouting racist abuse. After one of the group realised that they had been shouting at Shaka Hislop, the Newcastle United football player, they came over to ask for an autograph.

Over the years, the charity has grown and is recognised across the football industry with professional football players such as Harry Kane, Dele Ali, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Pickford, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Maguire, Eni Aluko as well as England manager Gareth Southgate involved in their education programme.

Find out more about Shaka’s story and the amazing work Show Racism the Red Card does here.

Women in Security ISIA Award Winners 2022

OCS Ireland were proud recipients of this years Irish Security Industry Association (ISIA) Women in Security Award.

OCS Ireland is unique within the Security and FM Industry as our senior leadership team has an equal 50% female representation. Additionally, our business is led by a female Managing Director, Aine Mulcahy and our Security Division is also led by another successful and professional female Lorraine O’Neill, Director of Security Services.

OCS work hard to be the employer of choice for women seeking a new career or opportunity within the security industry and all FM sectors. We do this by investing in our people and identifying existing female talent within the organisation.

Well done to everyone involved and congratulations.