The Wheatley Group – Spotlight on Driving Social Mobility and Social Inclusion in the Workplace

With a workforce of 3000, the Wheatley Group is Scotland’s leading housing, care, and property management group.


Wheatley is dedicated to enhancing the quality of homes and lives for its customers. More than 30% of its customer base relies on Universal Credit, facing the additional burden of financial challenges compounded by the cost-of-living crisis.

One obstacle for many customers has been the pursuit of stable, paid employment. Simultaneously, Wheatley has been confronted with the task of cultivating a workforce equipped with pertinent skills and aligned social values that represent the diverse needs of its customers.

Innovative actions

Wheatley developed its Environmental Roots initiative to not only boost employability for its customers but also to widen the organisation’s recruitment options inclusively. The four-week programme is specifically designed to assist customers with limited or no work experience and focuses on building awareness of the housing sector, imparting essential skills and training, earning accredited qualifications, and gaining hands-on work experience.

Participants in Environmental Roots also have the chance to transition into paid training placements within Wheatley’s Neighbourhood Environmental Teams, providing them with valuable opportunities for professional growth.

Evidence of impact

The Environmental Roots initiative has successfully engaged 453 participants, with over 70% moving into long-term employment, either directly through the initiative or with external employers. It addresses obstacles to employment, like low confidence and skills, making a substantial impact on reducing poverty and child poverty.

Additionally, the initiative boosts local economies by creating a cleaner environment through activities such as grass cutting, tree planting, and graffiti removal. This not only enhances the overall wellbeing of residents but also contributes to community pride and a healthier environment.

The recent expansion of the programme into more communities reflects its positive influence on areas of deprivation, showcasing its commitment to broader societal impact.

The information contained within this resource was accurate at the time of its publication. This article was created in January 2024.

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