1st February 2022
By: Joanne Ballard, E.S.G Strategy and Compliance Director
Quality Education must be the cornerstone of any long term ESG strategy. As well as being a critical goal in itself, education is an essential foundation for achieving other important sustainable development goals, from gender equality to economic growth and more peaceful societies.
I’m not the first to believe this – Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Education is a fundamental human right but it’s also an enabling right, putting choice, power and opportunity in the hands of each individual to shape the future.
The UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for Quality Education has a broad scope, aiming to, ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.
It focuses on the universal acquisition of critical foundational skills; access to technical, vocational and higher education; and providing the knowledge, skills and values needed to contribute to society. Learning outcomes across an entire lifetime are placed front and centre, from early childhood development through a productive career to a fulfilling retirement.
At Maintel, we have committed to supporting our staff, their families and the local community at every step of the educational journey.
Maintel’s agile working policy and flexible working arrangements allow for part-time home working and early or late finishes to support the wellbeing of our employees – and their children.
There is also evidence that some high-quality pre-primary education is beneficial for all children from age 3, improving their educational outcomes, employment prospects and wellbeing. Highly trained educational staff are the most important driver of those learning outcomes.
For that reason, Maintel utilises the Apprenticeship Levy gifting scheme to provide funding for an Early Years Practitioner qualification at a nursery located near to one of our offices.
Delivering effective and relevant education provides individuals with more than just qualifications and credentials. Education enhances essential lifelong skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, adaptability, critical thinking, and resilience.
And as technology changes the nature of work, employers are seeking staff with this new set of abilities to address the skill mismatch between job vacancies and available applicants. Education helps people to develop the competencies, values and behaviours needed (along with the more traditional knowledge) to enter the economy and address these modern-day business challenges.
Many students have no insight into how the corporate world works. Along with setting up a work experience programme to give them early access, Maintel enables staff members to volunteer for school talks and hands-on support with CV writing, interview techniques and career guidance.
Offering all employees equal access to further education gives them ongoing opportunities to improve their skills, and increased vocational training allows them to flourish within their roles – and their lives.
Maintel offers continual development plans across the entire employee base, along with apprenticeships from the start of a career through to post-graduate courses, releasing up to 20% of work time for that purpose.
Along with training, support is an essential element of vocational education, and Maintel encourages mentoring to provide tailored guidance for individuals striving to reach their full potential. In 2019, just 16% of IT professionals were women. Maintel became a member of Reed Women in Technology mentoring scheme. We have several mentors working proactively with a range of internal and external mentees and I chose to provide mentorship to contribute to the development of the female IT talent pool.
“Being a mentee is a great opportunity to learn from experts in the industry as it provides a safe space and an external opinion about some issues you face or questions you may have. It’s a very valuable experience that allows for so much growth and opportunity, it’s the best thing I have ever done!” Roha Raheel | Information Security Awareness & Culture Lead | Sainsbury’s Tech
Education empowers people everywhere to live more successful, rewarding, healthy and sustainable lives and prevents the perpetuation of low education levels and resulting social disadvantage from generation to generation. It helps develop and build a more skilled and diverse workforce, leading to a larger pool of future talent. And it supports peace, prosperity and tolerance in the community, promoting global citizenship in an increasingly interconnected world.
Our education programs are diverse and senior remuneration is linked to ESG factors including the amount, types and level of training provided across the employee base, and work with the local community.
From funding a chartered management degree for a small company in the digital sector to supporting the training of a local paramedic and providing customer service support for a small local business, Maintel is helping to share knowledge, skills and values.
Our goal is to give our employees and members of the local workforce access to the education they need to personally thrive while contributing to long term social, economic and societal change that will benefit us all.
Maintel contributes directly to 5 of the 7 headline target areas within SDG4 (Quality Education) and tracks progress via the ESG at Maintel website.
Explore our ESG stories and how Maintel is committed to creating a sustainable future.