Sunbelt Rentals announces strategic partnership with Weapons Down Gloves Up

blog 09 Dec 2021

Sunbelt Rentals is proud to announce an exciting strategic partnership with Liverpool based charity Weapons Down Gloves Up (WDGU).


As part of the rental giant’s ESG pledge and sustainability strategy, it’s Sunbelt’s mission to build sustainable skills and employment opportunities for local residents wherever they work.

WDGU is a registered charity that delivers a skills and employment programme in the North West. The programme aims to get young people aged between 19-24 off the streets and into the workplace.

Sunbelt Rentals is committed to using their national contracts to support the charity by employing young people who’ve progressed through the initiative. They’re also working with WDGU to take the programme outside of the North West to support the creation of employment opportunities for young people across the UK. 

Since its inception in November 2020, the programme has celebrated phenomenal success in Merseyside. In the last 12 months WDGU has created full-time employment for 100 aged 19–24-year-old NEETs, with 100% retention and sustained employment with local companies.

Its long-term vision is to support 500 young people into work in 2022, with that figure rising to a 1,000 in 2023.

WDGU welcomes people from all walks of life, who are currently unemployed and accessing benefits. Fully funded participants start with a free boxing programme where young people build trust with responsible coaches.

Participants also receive training in conjunction with CE careers, an industry specific training provider for Civil Engineering. During this time, they learn about job opportunities and are offered support through the interview process to get them into work and off benefits. 

What’s great about this programme is that these young people go on to gain full-time employment, after successfully completing their training.
Sports Director of WDGU and former professional boxer, Tony Bellew

Bellew continued: “Some of these young people are extremely vulnerable and if we can help them to get on the right pathway, to know that we have helped to change and shape their lives and future, well that's just incredible”.

Andy Wright, CEO of Sunbelt Rentals who is Executive Sponsor for WDGU recently went along to meet the team at Kirkdale Amateur Boxing Club in Merseyside.

I’m absolutely humbled by what has been achieved so far with this initiative. I’m very proud for Sunbelt Rentals to be a strategic partner and to play our part in supporting more young people into employment across the UK through our national contracts
Sunbelt rentals UK CEO, Andy Wright

 WDGU initiative utilises a network of four local gyms in the four corners of Merseyside, and by working with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and local job centres has helped to remove barriers to employment – providing free bus passes and funded driving lessons/tests to those who opt into the programme.

The 12-week programme consists of a six-week gym programme, two-weeks civil engineering labour training in the WDGU training academy, followed by a one-week break, two further weeks in the training academy, and finally one week of job interviews resulting in them obtaining their CSCS card.

The initiative is currently delivering a programme to 40 care leavers via the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, who are also one of the main sponsors of the WDGU initiative.

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