Campaign calls on SMEs to talk careers in the classroom

May 14, 2019

A NEW campaign is under way to encourage employers to engage with young people.

Give an Hour calls for small and medium-sized businesses  to offer an hour of their time to help young people to be prepared for the fast-changing world of work.

The initiative by The Careers & Enterprise Company and part of #GrowingTalentcampaign run by the local growth delivery agency South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership highlights that in as little as one hour organisations can help to transform a young person’s future by bringing to life career opportunities and providing insight about the skills young people need to be work-ready and successful in the workplace.

Employers already engage with thousands of young people across the country but more are being called for to help students to get the support they need.

Activities can include talks, opening doors for site visits, interview practice, mentoring or, working with a teacher to bring a lesson to life. SEMLEP’s employer and skills manager Paul Thompson said: “To guarantee a talent pipeline, we have to ensure that the careers provision in schools and colleges reflects that ofthe labour market.

“Many of the larger businesses are very proactive in engaging with education but we need more SMEs to become involved to ensure that the young people areaware of and develop the core competencies, attitudes and behaviours needed by the 99% of local businesses represented by SMEs.”

The Give an Hour campaign emphasises the importance of tapping into the career opportunities, skills and knowledge of small businesses. With 16.3 million people working in a SME, representing 60% of all private sector employment in the UK, these businesses are key to ensuring young people understand the opportunities available to them and the expectations and needs of employers.

Employers of all shapes and sizes are encouraged to visit www.semlep.com/growing-talent/to find out more and register to support a school or college in their area.

Claudia Harris, chief executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “We know that hardworking small business really want to support young people in their local community but finding the time can be difficult.

“There are many ways to make a difference to a young person’s future – and with as little as one hour these dynamic small firms can help a young person discover more about the world of work and open up career paths they didn’t even know existed.”

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