Invest in talent

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.

- Watson and Cox Construction Limited based in Wellingborough work with a school on a class assignment about responsible business practices.

- Travis Perkins in Northampton host regular ‘careers and cornflakes’ sessions that introduce students to activities that they may be asked to do at assessment centres.

- Kettering-based 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 People 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.

For more information about SEMLEP, visit their website: