Today (5 March 2020) the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Ltd. (LLEP) held its first Business Breakfast event in 2020 at Leicestershire County Cricket Ground. The event was focused on skills and saw the launch of the LLEP’s new toolkit for employers, Building the Workforce of the Future.
The toolkit shows employers how they can tap into a future workforce by offering experiences of the workplace. It is free, and details the benefits to businesses of offering employer encounters at different levels.
Many employers in Leicester and Leicestershire report a shortage of the skills they need and want to ensure that people with the relevant qualifications know about their company. For employers concerned about future recruitment, there are lots of ways to get involved at the grassroots.
‘Open doors’, work experience, internships, and the new T-level qualifications are some of the ways that employers can get involved. For those unsure of the steps, they need to take to offer such encounters, Building the Workforce of the Future is brimming with information.
The toolkit has everything employers need to make these offers, whatever the size of their company or amount of time they can spare. It explains how different types of workplace encounter can benefit employers in the long term and have the potential to develop a pipeline of talent into their business.
There are also links to useful websites to help guide employers through the process of setting up relationships with local schools, colleges, universities and other providers in Leicester and Leicestershire.
The LLEP Skills Team has led on coordinating a working group, including the three local universities, all further education colleges, our Business Gateway Growth Hub and Careers and Enterprise Company team, together with other organisations that link business and education to collate the guide. It features a range of real-life case studies on the experiences of local employers.
For a young person leaving education, there are a host of options available when it comes to starting a career. Research shows how having encounters of the workplace can hugely benefit young people, by helping them become more aware of local industries and what employers are looking for.
Dr Anthony Mann, Director of Research and Policy at the Education and Employers Task Force has stated that young adults who recall four or more encounters with employers while at school are five times less likely to be NEET (not in education, employment or training), and earn on average 18% more than their peers who recall no such activities. These encounters can also benefit those changing career or stepping back into work after a break.
In the coming years, T-levels – a new further education qualification – will start to appear on the CVs of young people looking to break into the industry. T-levels are each equivalent to three A-levels and to pass, a young person must gain 315 hours’ work experience alongside their studies.
Kevin Harris is Chair of the LLEP Board of Directors. He said:
“A growing economy needs skilled workers. At the LLEP, we passionately believe that our local businesses should be involved in every step of the way.
By becoming involved in skills education and providing opportunities for work experience, businesses can make an investment in their own future, and the future of the economy of Leicester and Leicestershire.”