Centro scoops top diversity award

Transport authority’s work recognised.

Centro’s commitment to diversity and serving the community in public transport has been recognised with a top honour.

The public transport delivery body for the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority beat four other hopefuls in the running for the Diverse Company in the Public Sector category at the Excellence in Diversity Awards in Manchester.

Hosted by BBC Breakfast business presenter Steph McGovern, the ceremony saw Centro praised for putting diversity and inclusion at the heart of public transport services and employment practice. This included development of fully accessible facilities such as state-of-the art bus stations, and accessibility aids, such as their award winning bus hailers.

Over the last 10 years, 55 community projects have been funded through the Transport Regeneration Fund which has resulted in Centro partnering with more than 120 organisations and 63 match funders to implement a range of pioneering initiatives. Other schemes include the successful ‘Get into Transport’ employment programme run with the Prince’s Trust, which gives young people a chance to work in public transport.

Centro also provides comprehensive equality training and objective assessment recruitment methods.

Kasia Allan, of the Confederation of British Industry, who presented the award to Centro equalities and diversity manager Anna Sirmoglou, said: “Centro has invested, and continues to invest, in a range of strategies to ensure they are a diverse and inclusive employer.”

Cllr Roger Lawrence, the chairman of the ITA, said: “I am delighted that Centro has received this national recognition and congratulate all those who have worked hard to make it happen. Ensuring transport is accessible to all is an issue we take very seriously, not least because it promotes independence and improves people’s quality of life.”