Today, for Social Enterprise Day, we celebrate the work of social enterprises and help raise awareness on how businesses can make a positive difference. In 2021, Corps Security became a certified Social Enterprise.
Security with a social mission
Since our inception in 1859, we have placed people at the centre of what we do. Our original purpose to help employ and support veterans remains one of our key objectives, but Corps has expanded to doing so much more. In 2019, for example, we decided to join the Living Wage Foundation, given our cultural foundation is about helping people. The first step is to pay a fair and decent wage.
Despite current economic uncertainties and major labour shortage projections, the British security industry is facing an increased demand. Smart technological solutions may be on the rise, but the need for officers clearly remains.
The British Security Industry Association reported earlier this year that business had a a real shortage of security specialists as the demand for their services grew. This is of course in the face of proposed new legislation for terror management risk that Martyn’s Law brings in, as well as the greater return of events and festivals in 2023.
As a result, there are upskilling programmes throughout the industry, ensuring first aid training and comprehensive anti-terror training too. The skill bases officers need is increasing, and so their pay needs to follow suit. No organisation should profit off people being paid an unfair wage that does not reflect the hard work they do every day.
We practice what we preach. In 2019, 33 per cent of our employees were paid the RLW. We are now proud to state that we are at 98.7 per cent RLW, with an ambition to hit 100% by the end of our financial year.
As a social enterprise, our intention is to go even further. We see it as our responsibility to further demonstrate social value, both within and outside of our organisation.
We have tracked our progress ever since, with the publication of two annual ESG Reports, both of which are in the public domain, since we believe in transparency.
What it means to be a social enterprise
Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social or environmental purpose. To be an accredited social enterprise, an organisation must reinvest 50 per cent of profits into the company or their purpose. For Corps, 100 per cent of our profits are reinvested into our business or donated to our military charity partners, such as Combat Stress, the mental health service for veterans.
For government and local authority tenders, social value needs to account for a minimum of 10 per cent of their scoring, giving a more concrete business case for employers to be more aware of their social impact than ever before.
Our social enterprise status is now ingrained in the culture of Corps Security, and it has increased the volume of work with some of our largest clients and helped the company achieve success in sectors where we may never have been considered.
Working with Corps offers companies an enviable benefit on their social value score. We have found our customers are more likely to announce our partnership and how their investment in our services offers tangible benefits to the veteran community. It’s not just the right thing to do. There’s a business case for it, too.
Since becoming a Social Enterprise, we have sold more and better contracts. We are proud to show how implementing social value is a hugely profitable area for organisations. We will continue to encourage our clients and other FM employers to follow suit. Together, we can ensure the future of our sector is brighter, and fairer.