A plan targeted at employers to promote social inclusion, reduce inequality and combat poverty was launched in Dublin today.

"The Inclusive Employer" is aimed at implementing change in business at leadership and operational level to tackle social exclusion.

The work of senior management brought together by the business network, Business in the Community Ireland, the new initiative aims to secure, develop and nurture talent. 

It is a practical guide to create inclusive workplaces - and reduce social inequality in Ireland - and is designed as a best practice tool for employers. 

Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) works as strategic advisors with some of the country's biggest businesses to help them achieve their corporate social responsibility and sustainability ambitions.

BITCI's chief executive Tomás Sercovich said the blueprint provided a clear pathway for human resources departments, strategic planners, recruitment experts and talent retention specialists to finally eradicate inherited disadvantage which often runs through families and communities.

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"Employment offers the single biggest opportunity for vulnerable individuals to move out of a cycle of poverty and become active participants in society," Tomás Sercovich said.

He noted a report published by the ESRI in 2018 which showed that five groups were identified as facing the greatest barriers to employment and as most vulnerable to social exclusion. These groups included jobless households, lone parents, homeless or affected by housing exclusion, those with disabilities and ethnic minorities.

"This blueprint spells out what practical steps employers can take to reach into these families and communities and help transform their lives," he said. 

"This is a clarion call for some employers who up to now have not fully realised the benefits of inclusive recruitment but it also provides step by step guides to business and industry who understand the long term value of being inclusive employers but who have never had the tools to implement real change," he added.