Press Release

31 May 2007

Two “Big Tick” Awards for MITIE

MITIE, one of the UK’s leading support services companies, delivering facilities, engineering and property services, has just been awarded two coveted ‘Big Tick’ awards by Business in the Community (BITC) in their annual Awards for Excellence.

Now in their tenth year, BITC’s Awards for Excellence are the UK’s leading awards for responsible business practice. They recognise companies that are integrating responsible business practice into their main operations and are creating positive impacts in the marketplace, the workplace, the environment or in the community.

There are a total of 19 categories in the Awards and MITIE has been awarded ‘Big Ticks’ in both the ‘Raising Achievement in Young People Award’ for the MITIE Skills Centres initiative and in the ‘Employability Award’ for MITIE’s ‘Real Apprentice’ scheme.

MITIE Skills Centres
The ‘Big Tick’ award for the ‘Raising Achievement in Young People Award’, sponsored by Merrill Lynch and supported by the Department for Education and Skills, recognises MITIE’s efforts to inspire young people to achieve their potential in the work being done in the seven MITIE Skills Centres that have been set up around the country to date.

The Skills Centres provide facilities for host schools to teach students aged between 14 and 16, a range of construction trades including: carpentry/joinery, painting, decorating, and brick and block-laying, as well as providing them with a classroom facility to teach construction theory. They are currently helping 420 students around the country to obtain nationally recognised vocational qualifications including the BTEC First Diploma in Construction. 

MITIE’s role has been to convert existing space into construction skills centres and provide tools, equipment and personal protective equipment as required.

MITIE staff are encouraged to become actively involved in the centres by assisting with appropriate parts of the curriculum and acting as individual mentors to those successful students who go on to be employed as apprentices, under the Construction Industry Training Board scheme.

MITIE believes in giving people a chance to better themselves, particularly those who may be technically gifted, but haven’t been offered the opportunity to display their skills through the lack of a proper vocational environment. 

The ’Real Apprentice’ scheme
The ‘Big Tick’ award in the ‘Employability Award’ category, sponsored by Accessible Retail, recognises the work that MITIE is doing with their ‘Real Apprentice’ scheme in helping to remove barriers to employment for disadvantaged young people from East London.

The ‘Real Apprentice’ is a training scheme that has been helping young unemployed people from Tower Hamlets to build the skills and confidence they need to start a career in a corporate environment. The initiative has just recruited its third intake of apprentices who undergo ten weeks of on-site training with MITIE’s clients. The Apprentices are taught soft business skills such as timekeeping, personal presentation and teamwork, as well as technical skills relating to their specific job. The successful candidates are then interviewed and offered jobs if they have met the criteria. 

The scheme was developed through MITIE’s partnership with the East London Business Alliance (ELBA), a leading economic and social regeneration agency. MITIE was helping to address the huge unemployment problem faced by the borough of Tower Hamlets by recruiting staff through ELBA’s public sector job brokerage contacts. However, the candidates were not deemed ‘job ready’ and failed to be able to sell themselves in a 30 minute interview. MITIE then devised the Real Apprentice scheme to give the candidates ten weeks of training and coaching in order to help teach them the basic skills and let them gain enough confidence in order to sell themselves at their final interview. So far 25 successful candidates are still employed with MITIE and with a further 27 currently being trained, MITIE have ambitions to roll the scheme out nationwide to prove that it can be a blueprint scheme that any company can follow in their efforts to help areas of economic deprivation.

Both the MITIE Skills Centres and the ‘Real Apprentice’ scheme have been shortlisted to become the 2007 National Example of Excellence for the BITC Awards Scheme. The winner of this will be announced at BITC’s National Gala Dinner in London on 2 July in the presence of their President, HRH The Prince of Wales, and Vice President Al Gore. 

Nick Chambers, Director of Education for Business in the Community, comments: “We are delighted to have these two schemes put forward for our National Example of Excellence Award as they both show that companies can make a real difference to the lives of young people. It sets a great example to other companies to follow in MITIE’s and our other winners’ footsteps in integrating responsible business practice into the everyday operations of their company.”

Ruby McGregor Smith, Chief Executive of MITIE was delighted to hear the news of the awards and said: “I am very proud that MITIE has been awarded two ‘Big Tick’ awards for these schemes. When MITIE started out 20 years ago, it was set up with one goal in mind, to provide opportunities for people to succeed, and this has been the cornerstone of MITIE’s ethos and success ever since. Both the MITIE Skills Centres and the ‘Real Apprentice’ scheme embody this ethos and are inspiring young people around the country to raise their aspirations and realise their potential.”

- ENDS -

Released: 31st May 2007 

For further information, contact: 

David Revis, IR and PR Manager, MITIE Group PLC
T:020 7304 7300, M: 07979 702465, E: 

Tori Ainsworth, Corporate Communications Manager, MITIE Group PLC
T: 020 7304 7300, M: 07976 650822, E:

Editor’s Notes 


MITIE is one of the UK’s leading support services companies, delivering facilities, engineering and property services to more than 6,000 public and private sector clients. It is also one of the UK’s largest employers with over 45,000 people supporting customers every day. 

MITIE provides all of the facilities services that organisations may wish to outsource including Catering, Cleaning, Document Management, Front of House Services, Energy Services, Engineering Maintenance, Facilities Management, Landscaping, Grounds Maintenance, Pest Control, Security and Waste and Environmental Services. MITIE also offers engineering and property services, improving buildings for its customers by providing Building Refurbishment, Fit-Out and Maintenance Services, together with Mechanical & Electrical Engineering. 

MITIE’s unique share ownership ethos ‘Management Incentive Through Investment Equity’ (MITIE) encourages our employees to focus on what our customers want. MITIE’s success in delivering sustainable growth, through responsible and proactive engagement with stakeholders, has enabled the Group to become a FTSE 250 company, achieving annual revenues of over £1bn.

Business in the Community
Business in the Community is a unique movement of over 750 member companies, with a further 2,000 plus engaged through our programmes and campaigns. We operate through a local network of more than 100 business led partnerships and 60 global partners. Our purpose is to inspire, challenge, engage and support business in continually improving its positive impact on society.