Sheffield Charity Launches UK’s First Careers Website for Modern Slavery Survivors

Over 100,000 people in the UK are currently trapped in modern slavery and exploitation.  The Sheffield-based charity Causeway, along with anti-slavery recruitment scheme Bright Future Co-operative, are launching an innovative new careers website.  Backed by former UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, the platform allows modern survivors to be fast-tracked into safe and permanent employment – and is calling on businesses from across the region to partner and publish vacancies for them.

Bright Future Co-operative fast-tracks modern slavery survivors into high quality employment.  This had led to survivors gaining permanent roles with companies including Currys, Morrisons, Pilgrim’s UK, Greencore and the Co-op.

The Bright Future Co-operative scheme was developed by the Sheffield-based modern slavery charity Causeway.  It is now run as an independent co-operative, with the board made up of 13 directors from UK-wide organisations.  

After 7 years of successful delivery, Bright Future Co-operative is now launching the UK’s very first careers website for modern slavery survivors.  This is a milestone in the delivery of the scheme, as it will allow more modern slavery survivors from across to access safe employment with companies who have positions specifically set aside for them.

The Bright Future Co-operative careers website will allow businesses to post accessible job adverts for modern slavery survivors to apply for.  The businesses will be provided with full training, and will be supported by Causeway and Bright Future Co-operative throughout the onboarding process and during the first stages of employment.

Initially a modern slavery survivor is provided with a fully paid four-week work placement with a company.  Following the end of the placement, should both parties be happy, this immediately transitions into a permanent position.

Since launching in 2017, on average 75% of survivors placed into positions through Bright Future Co-operative, have continued into full-time employment.  In the past year, this success rate has risen to 90%.

It is estimated that over 50 million people around the world are currently trapped in modern slavery, with more than 100,000 of those in the UK.  Projections put modern slavery at costing the UK £33 billion per year.  It can take many forms, including human trafficking, forced labour, debt bondage, criminal exploitation, sexual exploitation, forced marriage and organ harvesting.

The careers website will be launching in June.  It is being backed by Dame Sara Thornton, former UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, a role she began following the introduction of the landmark Modern Slavery Act 2015, and which she held until 2022.

Dame Sara Thornton will be featuring on a special webinar to kick off the launch of the careers website, taking place Thursday 20th June 2024.  Those looking to access the platform or attend the launch webinar can visit or email

Amy Bond, Causeway’s Chief Operating Officer and Bright Future Co-operative Board Member, said: “Bright Future Co-operative are extremely excited to be launching this careers website, to enable more survivors to enter safe employment, as they rebuild their lives, and take back control over their futures.  We have found that moving into paid work can be transformational for survivors on their recovery journey.  This innovative new recruitment platform will be managed by Causeway, and we are encouraging UK-wide companies, which have a commitment to tackling modern slavery, to consider partnering with us to advertise their roles, as they look to diversity their workforce and empower some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in our society.”

Ian Siddons, HR Partner at Greencore and Bright Future Co-operative Business Member, said: “I knew we had someone that wanted to change their lives and was very motivated to start working with us, and knowing our team, I knew we would have the right environment to help.  By the end of the initial placement, she has grown so much more in confidence and stronger in her communication.  She now fits in well with our culture, and is comfortable asking questions.  She is an excellent employee, and we can’t wait to welcome our next person.”

*Aisha, a modern slavery survivor who was placed into employment with the Co-op through Bright Future Co-operative, said: “I met with the manager, and then he called me to come and get my uniform.  I was so happy.  After two weeks there was £200 in my account.  I couldn’t believe it.  Such joy!  I bought myself a nice dinner and some clothes.  My job became permanent.  I knew nobody could take it from me.  I was kept away from people for seven years.  I felt ashamed for a long time.  Now I feel blessed.  Working at the Co-op gives me confidence.”

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