“As a B-Corp company, JoJo lives by its values of people, planet and profit and utilises apprenticeships within these values.”
Category: Best Community Outreach Employer of the Year - Sponsored by Professional Assessment Ltd
JoJo Maman Bébé is a multi-channel maternity wear and baby clothing retailer with stores in the United Kingdom. Founded as a mail-order seller in 1993, it is a company that puts people first.
JoJo began a partnership with one of the UK’s leading providers of retail apprenticeships and vocational training, HIT Training, with the aim of upskilling not just their own but the industry as a whole.
As a B-Corp company, JoJo lives by its values of people, planet and profit and utilises apprenticeships within these values to support their teams with growth beyond their stores if needed.
JoJo’s Head of Learning and Development Jill Faulkner is a huge advocate for learning, upskilling and supporting everyone with their growth, saying 'it isn't just retail' as people believe and 'fall into', it is an industry that teaches life skills.
“We set out to ensure our teams achieve a recognised qualification that allows them to show off their newly learnt knowledge, skills and behaviours,” said Jill. “Our apprenticeship programme with HIT supports us with that ethos even further.”
JoJo has an 80% distinction rate which reflects the amazing internal structure, support and communication they have with all things apprenticeships. Currently, they have 23 employees on programmes ranging from retail, facilities management and learning and development mentor.
The company allows their employees to learn from the business by enabling apprentices to go to head office, shadow specialists and spend days with factory teams. Mentor support is excellent and learners are encouraged to get involved in additional workloads to enhance their learning - again, this is reflected in their end-point assessment scores.
On a local and international level, JoJo is incredibly active too and their ways of working closely reflect what it takes to be a B-Corp.
Their Helping Hands charity initiative is designed to shine a spotlight on the causes that matter to their staff and customers by providing much-needed cash grants of up to £15,000. And, over the last seven years, their ‘From a Mother to Another’ recycling initiative has potentially saved 70 tonnes of baby and children’s clothing from going to waste by facilitating the delivery of donated parcels to families in need in the UK and Ireland.
Through Covid and beyond, JoJo re-launched their embroidered rainbow sleepsuit to support the NHS with all proceeds going to the Manchester Foundation Trust Charity. So far, they have raised nearly £25,000.
Internationally, JoJo encourages their factories abroad to get involved in local charity initiatives. Through one of their suppliers in India, they support a charity called Many Hands with their social enterprise project ‘Pink Speak’.
At a local level, they support food banks and encourage staff to volunteer in their local community.
“One member of the team volunteers his own time to go to the local cat home and care for them and similarly another does the same with a local dog trust,” said Jill, who’s also a dog lover. “We focus a lot of energy on supporting everyone inside and outside the business.”
Equality, diversity and inclusion is echoed throughout all areas with the business striving to represent the diverse communities they serve. Baby models are chosen locally and as a Disability Awards Best Employer, JoJo are proud to partner with WorkFit, the Down’s Syndrome Association’s employment programme.
Five of their permanent employees have Down’s Syndrome, one of which, Sammy-Jo, nominated JoJo for the Disability Awards Best Employer Award which they won in 2014 and 2019.