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B2B Double Win at ERSA Awards 2021

We are delighted that Veejay, our Managing Director has won the ERSA 2021 Award given to an individual that has made an Outstanding Contribution to the Sector.

The award citation reads,

“On entering the sector in 1986, Veejay’s beneficial impact was immediate and it has been continuous ever since. His advocacy for the first ever Job Club for people with English language needs and his delivery of impressive performance through it, led to a visit from the DWP Permanent Secretary, an Employment Service video showcasing Business 2 Business’ Job Club approach and the roll out of telephone-based English language support within Job Clubs across England and Wales. Since then, by choosing to work in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK and by developing inspired and innovative solutions to address multiple needs including during the Covid outbreak, Veejay has made a dramatic difference to the life chances and prosperity of tens of thousands of people, their families and communities.

As well as actively building the capacity of many individual community-based providers and leading innovation through winning an Innovate UK grant, through his enthusiasm for collaboration, Veejay has sought to strengthen the whole sector. As an ERSA member and IEP Fellow, he has optimised continuous professional development within Business 2 Business and actively encourages other providers to become members. Through his membership of ERSA, the Business Services Association and other strategic bodies, Veejay passionately advocates for more and better support to meet the needs of different groups; his early advocacy work leading to the DWP’s development of the Ethnic Minority Outreach (EMO) Programme, which went on to exceed all expectations; Business 2 Business’ own EMO delivery achieving the highest performance of all.

Whether as the leader of Business 2 Business, as a Chair of numerous economic development boards or as a pioneer of recruitment support for small business, through his lifelong devotion to unemployed people, Veejay has demonstrated selfless commitment and has made an outstanding contribution to the employability sector.”

Veejay was naturally delighted to have received the award and said,

“I’ve always valued the role and work of ERSA and to be recognised in this way is tremendous. I have had the fortune of working with so many great people since joining the employability sector in the 1980s. Whilst the last two years have of course been the most challenging of all, the sector has also shown what it can do in a crisis; providers in every town and city making a fast and very effective response as needs arose. Having established Business 2 Business in 1986, initially delivering Job Clubs and Restart Courses, I have never forgotten what I learnt then, those experiences informing everything I have done in the 35 years since. Therefore my message to everyone in the sector is that you’re all vitally important and the work you do is truly life-changing – keep doing it.“

A short period of celebration following the announcement involved Veejay cutting a cake to cheers from everyone at B2B.

We were doubly gratified that Sandeep Kolkarthar, one of our longest serving advisers has won the ERSA 2021 Frontline Adviser of the Year Award. His award citation reads,

“Sandeep Koltharkar is an exceptional adviser. His kindness, tenacity and vitality builds the confidence of participants, plus he goes to great lengths to help people and seek solutions. During lockdowns when many services were closed, his knowledge and links with community organisations enabled people to continue to access housing, well-being and foodbank support.”

Sandeep describes his approach to his work in this video

On winning the award, Sandeep said,

“I feel immensely honoured to have been given this award. I love the work we do because it makes such a difference to people’s lives. There are so many people who greatly contribute to this amazing sector. My colleagues are fantastic! Thank you to everyone in the sector from the commissioners to the delivery organisations, this is an award for all of us.”

Watch both of the videos on these links:


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