Young unemployed people in east Birmingham are to be given pledges by local employers to help them gain skills and work experience.
Today’s Birmingham Employers’ Convention saw a number of businesses set out their commitment to finding jobs, apprenticeships, traineeships and work experience for young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs).
Hosted by social enterprise The Future Melting Pot in collaboration with Birmingham City Council, the pledge is aimed at helping young people in Washwood Heath and Shard End, with the potential to expand this model across the city. Business leaders from organisations including Balfour Beatty, Birmingham Airport, PwC and Enterprise car rentals attended the event.
Councillor Penny Holbrook, Cabinet Member for Skills, Learning and Culture, said: “There are major challenges facing employment and skills in east Birmingham. Washwood Heath ward has the highest rate of youth unemployment in the city, with almost three hundred 16- to 25-year-olds claiming work-related benefits.
“We need to really focus on the wards of Shard End and Washwood Heath, with targeted intervention for these young people; we can’t let young lives go to waste when there is so much talent out there.
“The Employers’ Convention is therefore seeking to create an employer’s network and to create a pool of pledged opportunities for the young people of east Birmingham which would result in a reduction in youth unemployment in their communities.
“Employers will also gain directly from this initiative from a wider pool of applicants, particularly in areas where they are suffering a shortage of skills and good applicants. Young skilled people are out there and available for work and if just given a chance they can turn out to be the most loyal employees.”
Estella Edwards, CEO of The Future Melting Pot, said: “The Future Melting Pot is a social enterprise running an employability program in East Birmingham, and are looking to bring a call to action for ‘understanding leading to effective action’ as we have championed in the new collective approach where all opinions and contributions are needed.”
Baroness Stedman-Scott OBE, former CEO of Tomorrow’s People, said: ‘Young people need all the help we can give them to ensure they make a good transition into the workplace. Sadly, this help is not always available or in the right condition to properly support young people into a job. Our Employers’ Convention will put employers at the heart of securing the future for young people. We have to be committed to ensuring that employers have a highly motivated and committed workforce where young people can thrive.”
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