Veolia UK has launched an initiative with the goal of recruiting 10% of its operational agents working in waste management from disadvantaged sections of the population. The initiative's primary targets are the long-term unemployed, young people who have dropped out of school or are unemployed, and former prisoners. With the help of social integration non-profits, Veolia is proposing a six-day refresher course to anyone interested. The course consists of three days of training in customer service, teamwork and health and safety, two days of work experience in the field and a day of interview training. Veolia's frontline managers are also given training to help them welcome and integrate new recruits.
Alongside the training initiative, Veolia has teamed up with the government’s Department for Work and Pensions as well as local colleges to found academies specializing in different sectors. Two branches of the Veolia Academy for Street Cleaners have opened, in London and the south of England.
In 2016, Veolia UK exceeded its target with the recruitment of 22% of agents from disadvantaged backgrounds. Some 35% of them went on to obtain permanent employment working in household waste collection, materials recycling and grounds maintenance.