It has been over a year since I joined the Sirius team and last December I shared some reflections in my first contribution to the Sirius blog, focussing on how we work to make Sirius an exceptional place to build a career.
My role at Sirius also encompasses creating a positive impact for the people we interact with outside of our business – that being our local communities and talent pools. In this blog, I’d like to share some updates from our 2023 Annual Report on our progress in this area.
Supporting socially oriented businesses
In our Annual Report, we shared that Sirius has committed to launching a programme to support local businesses, which can demonstrate a strong degree of social purpose. We see this as essential in helping to foster positive social impact in the communities in which we operate, as these tenants are fully embedded in their communities and know best what is needed – while we can in turn provide them with the spaces from which they operate and make a social impact in the community.
At present, we are in the process of reaching out to select socially oriented businesses across our portfolio and working with them to understand how best Sirius can meet their needs. We intend to fully launch a needs-driven programme during the second half of 2023. We look forward to sharing further updates on this in due course.
In the previous financial year we launched PRISMA, a programme aimed at recruiting refugees who have settled in Germany, and helping their career development by providing training and job opportunities to them, within Sirius. This in turn should enable access for them to a wider range of specialist jobs once they have completed the PRISMA programme.
PRISMA was initially piloted within our office in Berlin, and the next step is to roll out the programme across our German portfolio, and to seek opportunities to collaborate with our tenants to provide access to further job opportunities. In addition to job training, participants of the programme are also granted access to subsidised German language lessons and mentoring from existing Sirius employees.
Over the longer-term, our aim for PRISMA is for 5 to 10% of staff based at the Berlin office to be made up of former refugees.
In addition to PRISMA, we’re in the process of developing a local internship and apprenticeship support programme, in which we will provide career development opportunities to talent local to our offices and sites, both working directly for Sirius, and also through matching applicants to opportunities with our tenants. We are currently working to structure the programme and its aims and will launch the programme during FY2023/24.
Enabling charitable endeavours
At Sirius we actively engage in charitable initiatives through supporting colleague fundraising activities and encouraging volunteering and community work via paid time off.
In our UK subsidiary BizSpace, employees have long been able to each take one full working day per year for community work. This is a programme we have recently launched more widely across Germany, following enthusiasm for the programme from employees. Team members in Germany are able to take half a day annually to work on charity or community endeavours, or to donate this time to colleagues keen to volunteer more regularly. During FY2022/23, team members in Germany delivered over 581 hours of charity work.
It’s really important to Sirius that we can deliver positive impact for the communities in which we operate. We are a people company at heart, so to be able to generate positive impact is core to our values and our purpose. I look forward to sharing updates on how our programmes will have positive impact in the communities we serve.