CIS mentoring for local minority undergraduates

The Co-operative Insurance Society is mentoring local black and ethnic
minority undergraduates in Manchester to make its workforce in the area more
representative of the local community.

The company has released figures showing that of its 10,000 staff, 3.6 per
cent are from an ethnic minority. This is an increase of 0.7 per cent from
November 2001.

Of its new starters, 7.4 per cent now come from ethnic minorities – an
increase of 2.6 per cent from last November.

CIS staff members meet Manchester University students and mentor the
undergraduates on career aspirations and decisions.

Furthermore, the company allows ethnic minority undergraduates to use its
assessment centre to familiarise themselves with the recruitment process.

It also sponsors ethnic minority recruitment fairs, and work experience
placements in the firm can also be arranged for students.

Pat Ashworth, HR manager at CIS, said the measures have helped promote the
company as an employer of choice among local students.

"Currently the organisation does not fully represent ethnically the
community that it operates in and the aim is to achieve this by mentoring local

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