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Blog post: Invest in talent

15 October 2018

Paul Thompson Employer and Skills manager at SEMLEP Paul Thompson, SEMLEP

Local employers say that recruiting young people with relevant skills and attributes remains challenging. Sound familiar? The great news is that more businesses are getting involved in finding solutions to this challenge and the appetite among local employers is growing.

The reality though, is that we need many more businesses to open up their doors and get involved in growing talent locally for future success. And there’s plenty of help and information available to support you with this so you can contribute in a way that best suits your business.

This month, SEMLEP has launched a new initiative to make it easy for businesses to get involved by sharing best practice from others who have taken a lead in this. We have collated a range of examples of how different businesses of all shapes and sizes and sectors work directly with young people to inform and inspire them about the careers opportunities they have. Examples range from businesses who welcome young people into their workplace, to individuals who have set aside time to visit groups of students at school and help them better link their classroom learning with how they’ll apply it in the world of work.

  • Engineering firm Festo has developed a package of site visits that introduce students from different age groups to engineering projects through interaction with design, technologies and equipment.  
  • Construction company, Watson and Cox work with a school on a class assignment about responsible business practices.
  • Distribution solutions firm Knights of Old promote their vacancies at school assemblies, providing opportunities for mock-interviews, work placements and even internships for some outstanding students.

Some activities take an hour, some take a week. The message back from businesses involved however is a resounding “the more you put in, the more you get out.”

This initiative is part of the South East Midlands action plan – Growing People – led by SEMLEP which aims to build a talent pipeline of individuals with the skills and attributes local employers say they need. To do this, we’re nurturing conversation, cooperation and coordination between local businesses, schools and colleges to make careers education much more relevant to the labour market. We’re specifically focusing on how to best support employer-education engagement to inspire young people, shape careers-related training and  promote the different education and training routes available that will ultimately develop skills and competencies that employers need.  

We’ll be building on these best practice examples over the coming months. So if you’re interested in growing talent, want to invest in talent and want to know more, take a look at the Growing Talent pages of the SEMLEP website:   SEMLEP is here to make this as easy for you as possible so you can contact me, SEMLEP’s Employer and Skills Manager to talk directly about how we can help you.  You can follow #GrowingTalent on Twitter and LinkedIn for more best practice over the coming weeks and months.

The more businesses that get involved the more success we’ll have in inspiring young people. If you are already working in schools let SEMLEP know so we can help highlight your activity and help you to do more.

Paul Thompson

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