Tier 1 is celebrating after receiving the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise through our unique prison workshop programme. As the UK’s leading secure IT asset disposal, refurbishment, and recycling business, we have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in promoting opportunity through social enterprise.
Based in Whitefield, Greater Manchester, Tier 1 is one of only five businesses being honoured with the prestigious award this year, as a result of our incredible work and the unique partnership we have formed with HMP Forest Bank, Salford and the charity ANTZ.
Tier 1 is a privately owned business with a £15m turnover and global customer portfolio. Led by co-founder and Managing Director Jonathan Rose, we remain fiercely committed to upholding strong social values, giving back to communities through a pioneering partnership linking Tier 1 to helping offenders within the prison system improve their lives and future prospects.
Learning of the prestigious award Jonathan said;
“Winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is one of our proudest achievements. It is also a testament to the dedication and support of all the staff at Tier 1 who are fully supportive and involved in our Prison Workshop initiative. Without them being an active part of our story this achievement would not have been possible.”
Ground-breaking prison workshop programme
Tier 1’s ground-breaking prison workshop programme has seen more than 130 offenders emerging from prison with vital qualifications in IT recycling, helping them give back to society by finding employment and apprenticeships thanks to their new life skills and work ethic.
It all begins inside the Category B prison where Tier 1 has built a recycling workshop. IT equipment that has failed or cannot be refurbished in our warehouse is taken to HMP Forest Bank where prisoners dismantle the kit into component parts, avoiding the need to send any IT waste to landfill. A report in February 2019 named the UK as the worst country for illegally disposing of electronic waste, dumping shipments in Nigeria, Tanzania and Pakistan. Tier 1 is proud to say that we send nothing to landfill.
The waste-processing workshop at Forest Bank enables Tier 1 to process significant amounts of IT waste every month by providing a well established, cost efficient processing operation. “It’s a win-win situation,” says Jonathan. “The prison provides a local base which we can visit for any day-to-day operational matters. It reduces waste transportation time and costs. Whilst we might be a ‘for profit’ business, we also make a real difference.”
Helping former prisoners find work
Through this inspiring initiative, Tier 1’s fully functional IT recycling scheme continues to help former prisoners find work experience, education, employment, apprenticeships and positions as volunteers, many gaining an NVQ qualification with some of them going on to work for Tier 1 at our Whitefield base.
Tier 1’s unfaltering commitment to helping former prisoners find their place back in society reaches beyond the prison gates. After release, ANTZ provides a ‘Through the Gate’ back-to-work programme, funded by Tier 1 from the recycling work undertaken at the prison. In addition, Atos, world leaders in IT transformation and one of our major clients, introduced a mentoring programme which “overlays” Tier 1’s Through the Gate initiative and both programmes are managed by ANTZ. Newly released offenders are helped to secure and sustain new lives through this scheme which for some might have given them their first ever experience of work.
Jonathan explains further:
“We have always tried to conduct our business in a professional and ethical manner. To be recognised for this with such an accolade makes all our efforts worthwhile. To win the award for Promoting Opportunity, where only five other businesses have been selected, makes this even more special.”
Matt Spencer, Director of Justice Services at Forest Bank said:
“It has been a pleasure working in partnership with Tier 1 for a number of years now. They have continually shown their commitment to helping Forest Bank instill a work ethic amongst our residents in our Industries complex and have provided work to keep our residents busy during their custodial sentence which is appreciated by Forest Bank. Tier 1 have worked in partnership with us to provide work for hundreds of residents over the years so that they leave Forest Bank with a much greater chance of useful and productive employment on release. Likewise through its financial contributions to Antz Junction, Tier 1 has continued this commitment to reducing reoffending by continuing to encourage useful and productive employment after release via work programs, work experience and real jobs.”
Nikki Kelly, Senior Vice President at Atos, said:
“We are delighted that Tier 1 Asset Management has been recognised by the Queen’s Award programme for its valuable work in promoting opportunity through social mobility. Since launching the mentor programme in partnership with Tier 1 and ANTZ in 2015, it has made a real and measurable difference to communities. We look forward to further building on this momentum and supporting participants to help overcome personal challenges, grow professionally and create a positive impact for themselves and society.”
Tier 1 will turn 25 years old next year and Jonathan declares he cannot think of a more “fitting tribute to everyone involved within Tier 1 than to celebrate 25 years alongside our Queen’s Award.”
For more information about Tier 1, please get in touch with our team today.