Cath Sermon Employment Director at Business in the Community shares what she has learned from this year's Jaguar Land Rover Inspiring Young Talent entries.
Collectively, the 28 entrants to The Jaguar Land Rover Inspiring Young Talent Award employed 26,882 people between the ages of 16-24 and directly provided 3043 apprenticeships or traineeships. These are impressive numbers and it is reassuring to see that as the economy picks up, young people are being picked up along with it.
As skills gaps loom on the horizon in certain sectors, it is those businesses that still cling to bad recruitment habits picked up during the recession, who will increasingly find themselves battling over young people that possess the skills they need. That is why as prospects improve, youth unemployment becomes more of a pressing issue, not less.
The Jaguar Land Rover Inspiring Young Talent Award showcases those businesses that recognise this and actively reach out early and often to give young people first chances and second chances to enter their workforce.
What really stands out about this year’s entrants is how they are combining multiple interventions into employability strategy. This approach amplifies the impact that individual programmes, whether they are raising aspirations in the classroom, creating work placements that really inspire, or making careers more accessible through trainee and apprenticeships.
All of the companies that were shortlisted this year can feel proud of making it that far but it was Barclay’s integrated approach to youth employability that really stood out. Their apprenticeship programme alone put 2,000 careers in banking within the grasp diverse new generation of talent and through Lifeskills a further one million young people across the UK have improved their employability skills.
Livin Housing were given the small business Award for their impressively comprehensive range of programmes in a deprived area, while the judges also Highly Commended ISS for their innovative approach to attracting and retaining new talent in an industry that traditionally suffered from high churn.
This year’s shortlisted companies prove that there is a role for every organisation regardless of size in tackling youth unemployment. Take the opportunity to read the case studies to see how your organisation could create a more seamless transition from learning to work for young people.
For information about what BITC can do to support your business on this issue please contact me at Catherine.Sermon@bitc.org.uk..