Shaw Trust deploys 600 remote contact centre workers to deliver vital new careers service with help from CDW.

Shaw Trust


  • CDW helps Shaw Trust implement a cloud-based voice and contact centre solution.
  • Project is supported by the configuration and deployment of secure managed Dell Latitude 5000 devices to a remote workforce using Microsoft Autopilot service.
  • IT solution has enabled Shaw Trust to start delivering critical government-funded job support scheme within six weeks resulting in more than 105,000 calls being received or made during the first ten weeks of operation.

About Shaw Trust

  • Shaw Trust is a charity that is helping to build a future where rewarding employment is accessible for all.
  • The organisation was founded more than 30 years ago and employs 2,500 people supported by 1,000 volunteers.
  • Services include employability programmes, residential care for children and targeted careers support for young people.


Shaw Trust is a remarkable charity which provides a truly diverse range of services. Each year, the organisation provides support to thousands of children and young people, helping them attain the education and skills they need for a successful future. It also supports adults into the workplace, enabling them to build confidence and develop their careers.

The charity believes everyone has the right to live a decent and dignified life - no matter their starting point - and its 2,500 employees work tirelessly to achieve that aim.

Most recently, it was selected by the government to run its critical Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme across several areas of  the country. Backed by £238 million in funding, JETS was launched in response to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and was aimed at assisting people who had been out of work for three months. Under the provision of the scheme, those looking for a job would be able to speak to specialist advisors to gain valuable support in areas like interview coaching and CV writing.

“The JETS scheme aims to help participants return to work as quickly as possible, as the first few months are critical in preventing long-term unemployment,” says Alan Webb, Director of Business Technology and Information Services at Shaw Trust. “We were delighted to be  awarded the contract, but it was clear from the start that time was of the essence and it needed to be deployed rapidly. The pandemic had changed working patterns almost overnight, so we had to look at ways of delivering this service remotely and get it operational within a few weeks. This was difficult, as over the years Shaw Trust has expanded through a series of  acquisitions – so we had a fragmented IT estate which meant we were not really set up to encourage dispersed working. It was some challenge.”

As Shaw Trust started to look at the provision of the JETS service, it became apparent that it would need to implement a cloud-based telephony and contact centre solution to support a fully dispersed workforce of around 600 people. Each of these individuals would also need to be provided with hardware such as laptops to enable them to perform their roles.

“We had no platform available to deliver that sort of telephony and call centre capability,” says Alan Webb. “The pandemic had also put pressure on hardware availability, and we could see it was going to prove difficult to acquire laptops in a short space of time. We needed to partner with a technology solutions provider who could help us meet our needs.”


Shaw Trust approached CDW with a view to helping it identify an affordable, cloud-based voice and contact centre solution. After assessing the desired business outcomes, CDW’s specialist Cloud Community team considered solutions from a global ecosystem of more than 100 technology providers, before proposing a communications-as-a-service platform developed by 8x8.

“From the start of the project, we knew what we wanted to achieve, and it was a case of building towards that as a collaborative team,” says Alan Webb. “The CDW Cloud Community team demonstrated that it had a broad, in-depth knowledge of the evolving IT services landscape. CDW quickly arranged technology demos to provide us with a clear understanding of what could be achieved by the 8x8 solution. That gave us the confidence to move forward at speed.”

One of the real strengths of the 8x8 solution was its flexibility – with the unified nature of the platform encouraging high levels of collaborative working. To deliver the JETS contract, Shaw Trust wanted to deploy a dedicated team of customer services operatives, who would act as the initial point of contact, before assessing requirements and transferring the caller seamlessly to more employment advisor specialist. 8x8 was shown to be highly effective as a means of allowing dispersed teams to connect, collaborate and liaise effortlessly through a single pane of glass.

Licensing flexibility was also deemed important. CDW and 8x8 worked closely with Shaw Trust to assess user profiles on the JETS contract, providing different levels of access to the platform.

In parallel with this work, CDW was also selected to help Shaw Trust leverage its Microsoft 365 environment, applying Modern Management with Autopilot to configure Dell Latitude 5000 devices so that they were ready use out of the box.

This involved the use of the CDW’s ServiceTrack supply chain management portal, with online custom catalogues built to allow Shaw Trust to select technology bundles required for all individuals.

The ServiceTrack solution meant processing and asset-tracking could be overseen centrally, with devices despatched to 600 home-based operatives around the country.

“CDW did a fantastic job of ensuring delivery of full remote working technology services. Devices were configured exactly as they should be and shipped to the right locations without delay,” says Alan Webb. “This required tremendous logistical over-sight, as the devices needed to be delivered to individual addresses, under time pressure.”


The collaboration between Shaw Trust, CDW and 8x8 meant that the contact centre was deployed within six weeks. The solution enables a truly flexible ‘working from anywhere’ strategy, with customer services operatives and employment advisors working closely together to provide specialist advice and help people get back into employment.

“CDW really excelled when it came to working quickly and efficiently to meet all of our deadlines. To go from initial conception to execution in six weeks was remarkable,” says Alan Webb.

Device management was equally successful. Around 600 employment advisors have now been remotely on-boarded, providing them with the technology they need to do their jobs effectively. “CDW has been fantastic at configuring and shipping devices to individual addresses, all under exceptional time pressure,” says Alan Webb. “All of our employees got the right configured device, with a welcome pack, which allowed them to start delivering services from day one.”

Most importantly, the project has underpinned the successful delivery of the JETS contract. The contact centre handled more than 105,000 calls during the first ten weeks of operation – with each enquiry being dealt with in an informative and efficient manner.

“There have already been some great successes in getting people back into the workplace during difficult times,” says Alan Webb. “That is what Shaw Trust is all about: empowering people to make the best of their lives."

Looking back on the project, Shaw Trust says it was delighted with all outcomes. “CDW proved adept at looking at our business challenge and identifying a solution. It quickly enabled us to see the art of the possible, and then helped us to navigate the way forward. That helped us to get the result that we wanted.” Moving forward, Shaw Trust will continue to deploy technology to improve the provision of its services.

Currently, Shaw Trust is implementing a new service for HM Prison and Probation Service supporting offender rehabilitation. “We want to make IT accessible to everyone,” says Alan Webb. “This project acts as a template for the rest of our activities in helping to provide new opportunities.”

From a CDW perspective, there is real pride at managing and delivering a project that has had such a positive impact on people’s lives. “We are delighted to have helped Shaw Trust respond quickly and positively in assisting those looking to find new employment during what have been challenging times,” says Leon Batchelor, Account Director at CDW. “We look forward to helping the charity continue to deploy technology as a force for good.”

"CDW really excelled when it came to working quickly and efficiently to meet all of our deadlines. To go from initial conception to execution in six weeks was remarkable."

Alan Webb

Director of Business Technology and Information Services at Shaw Trust