Dagenham company wins gold for training unemployed

Staff at training provider Athena Training UK proudly accepted a prestigious award for being the most responsible businesses in the capital.

The company, which provides first aid, health and safety training and help for unemployed people to get back into work, is the first business in Greater London to have been awarded the Organisation for Responsible Businesses (ORB) Gold standard award, which was presented to staff by Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas at the company’s headquarters in Becontree Avenue, Dagenham.

The firm has met the ORB’s standards of social responsibility, staff welfare and ethics.

Director of education Mark Wear said: “I’m very proud to have achieved this. We’re very pleased, as we have just celebrated our 10th anniversary. It’s been a team effort.”

He founded the organisation 10 years ago with one staff member.

It now employs 12 people and has worked with Barking and Dagenham Council, quango Fair Cities, Brent Social Services and Barking and Dagenham College.

Mr Wear said: “We want to be able to give quality training at affordable prices. This gold standard is underwriting the quality of our work.”

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Mr Cruddas added: “I am delighted to present this award to Athena Training UK, a small company that has clearly demonstrated a strong commitment to the local community. The Responsible Business Standard is an important kite mark for small businesses. I support this initiative.”

There will be free advice for unemployed people on how to get into work at www.athenatraininguk.net in the coming weeks.