Thursday, September 3, 2015

News: Chambers to link young people with business

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Chambers of Commerce are to deliver 250 careers events across England, putting thousands of young people directly in touch with local businesses, to improve the quality of careers advice they receive.

Chambers believe that as long-term trends show A Level and GCSE results continue to improve, youth unemployment is almost three times the national average – possibly highlighting a mismatch between academic achievement and work readiness.

Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce will run four career events, bringing together thousands of pupils, businesses, schools, colleges and training providers in order to address this issue and improve young people’s prospects for a successful career.

The "Your Future" programme of career events, supported by the Skills Funding Agency, will give 70,000 young people across the country access to potential employers, showcase the range of career options open to them, and help them to plan their future to take advantage of these opportunities. It will also give businesses the platform to meet the employees of tomorrow and to talk about the skills and qualities they look for when recruiting.

John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "If young people are to make good decisions about their future career options, they need access to relevant, complete, and engaging information - and to the real businesspeople that make these options come to life. Otherwise, the gap between young people and business will continue, as too many learners study and train in areas where there is little demand for new employees.

"To bridge the gap between the world of education and the world of work, we're putting together a programme that will break down barriers between pupils and businesses, bringing thousands of students and companies together at local events across England.

"By connecting the employees of tomorrow with local businesses, we are helping each to improve their understanding of the other. That means young people will be better able to prepare for the careers they want – whether that is through an apprenticeship, further training or higher education - and businesses will have the chance to meet the talent they need to thrive and grow. This is a win-win scenario and we are confident that it will make a real difference to young people and businesses nationwide."

Joe Billington, deputy director of Consumer Services at the Skills Funding Agency, added: "The Skills Funding Agency is pleased to be supporting the Your Future programme of events which will be an excellent, innovative way to increase young people's understanding of the world of work, sharing our own National Careers Service vision of inspiring young people to look ahead, seek the next opportunity, and develop new skills to prepare for the future."

In previous years, a Local Employment Advisory Forum (LEAF) event has taken place in Rotherham linking local businesses with jobseekers and college students. Held at Magna, the 2014 event (pictured) was organised by Rotherham Council and housing maintenance contractor, Mears.

Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce website

Images: Mears Group

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