National Express West Midlands helps people get on the road to employment with Birmingham's Suited for Success

16 June 2022 12:00 PM

Rachel James and Patricia White - Suited for Success

Rachel James, HR Director at National Express and Patricia White, Chief Executive at Suited for Success

National Express West Midlands is helping people get on the road to employment thanks to a new charity partnership with Suited for Success. 

The bus company has donated a retired bus which will be converted into a touring facility – providing job interview preparation and employment support for local unemployed people across Birmingham.

Suited for Success supports the unemployed into employment including those who are long-term unemployed, return-to-work parents, the homeless, young people, ex-armed forces and others from disadvantaged backgrounds. The charity provides free suitable interview attire and one-to-one mentoring, giving the dose of confidence needed to succeed in a potentially life-changing job interview.

The National Express West Midlands bus was officially handed over to Suited for Success at the charity’s headquarters on Friday 10 June. Once converted the bus will serve as a clothing boutique and employment preparation mentoring space, with plans to tour areasof the city with high levels of unemployment.

National Express has also supported Suited for Success’ Suit Drive initiative by encouraging its head office's 400-strong workforce to donate unwanted office wear for the charity’s clothing boutique. 

Patricia White, Chief Executive at Suited for Success (left) and National Express colleagues (right).

Patricia White, Chief Executive at Suited for Success (left) and National Express colleagues (right).

Patricia White, Chief Executive of Suited for Success, commented: “At Suited for Success our mission is to level the playing field for unemployed people to realise their potential and regain employment.”

“In our area of work, we often hear the term ‘hard to reach communities’. Our bus will take Suited for Success on the road to reach and support more unemployed people living in communities across Birmingham and the West Midlands with some of the highest levels of unemployment in the country, helping people to access our charity’s support to gain employment.”

“We are so incredibly grateful to National Express West Midlands for believing in our vision and donating us a bus to help carry out our mission.” 

Rachel James, UK HR Director at National Express, said: “At National Express, we are passionate about the communities where we live and work and we are proud to support Suited for Success through the donation of one of our buses. This will enable the scheme to be driven into the heart of communities meaning that more people will be able to access the service than ever before.

"It’s an incredible initiative and if our support helps just one person to get back into employment, or gives them a starting point to get their life back on track, then brilliant. You never know, I may even get an application from a Suited for Success client for one of our driver or engineer roles - I certainly hope so!”

Suited for Success has also launched a fundraising campaign called High-Five. Text HIGHFIVE to 70450 to donate £5 or visit the Suited for Success website