Government and UK business leaders back drive for employer engagement with young people

David Cruickshank, chairman of Deloitte and Education and Employers Taskforce trustee, will join a growing number of senior business leaders who are visiting schools and colleges to talk to young people when he visits Lambeth College in Vauxhall, central London on Monday 18 October at 13.00. He will be joined by John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning.
The visit is just one of many being made by major employers intended to help business leaders and government understand the role that employers can play in informing and inspiring young people about the world of work.
It is part of a national campaign led by the Education and Employers taskforce charity. Tesco’s CEO Sir Terry Leahy and Sir Martin Sorrell WPP Group chief executive have already visited schools. 650 schools and colleges and 700 employers, including more than 100 chief executives and chairmen from many of the UK’s leading companies, are also participating in the campaign.
David Cruickshank, chairman of a company that will recruit more than 1,200 graduates this year and employs more than 12,000 people in the UK, supports the drive by employers to support young people. He said: “At a time when there is considerable pressure on public spending, visits to schools and colleges by business leaders are just one of the many simple things that employers can do, at little cost, to help young people.”

“The country is in a period of uncertainty and many young people will be fearful about the next stage of their lives. This is one way that schools, employers and the government can help them take these important next steps and understand their career options by working together to bring the world of work to life.”

The overwhelming level of support for increasing employer engagement with schools follows research into the issue published by Deloitte two weeks ago. It found that the dynamic labour market and the vast range of career options available often leave young people feeling bewildered. A survey of 500 young people, that formed part of Deloitte’s research, found that 95% of young people agreed they would like employers to be more involved in providing advice and guidance about careers and jobs. And 90% of employers agreed that employers should take a role in providing careers advice related activities to young people
Other key findings of Deloitte’s report Helping young people succeed: the role of employers to inspire & inform:

  • Recalling their experience of the last two years 42% of those surveyed said they had no contact with employers at all, and 40% had contact with between 1-4 employers;
  • Young people who had been in contact with four or more employers in the last 2 years of school were nearly twice as likely to believe that they had a good idea of the knowledge and skills needed for the jobs they wanted to do;
  • Despite the downturn nearly half (48%) of the organisations surveyed believed they had increased their involvement in schools over the last 2 years, and around half (44%) had aspirations to do more.

Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister, who joined Sir Terry Leahy on a visit to Westfield Technology College in Watford last week, said: “We welcome the positive impact that businesses can have on young people, either through mentoring, offering careers advice or by encouraging employees to become school governors. It is clear that employers and their staff enjoy the experience and that they very effectively help to raise the aspirations of young people.”

“We want to ensure that all young people have access to high quality careers guidance and will set out our plans for this later in the Autumn.”

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