Why now could be the time to grow fresh talent

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

With the Chancellor’s emergency plans to help tackle a rise in youth unemployment due to get underway, the Education Training Collective’s Gary Potts is helping to unravel the options enabling employers to bring fresh new talent in to their businesses.

For many employers now may not feel like the natural time to be thinking about succession planning and workforce development.

But the Education Training Collective’s Gary Potts says, with a renewed national focus on preventing a generation of young people falling into “a black hole”, now could actually be the perfect time.

“It’s not necessarily about cash incentives or even feeling a sense of corporate responsibility,” said the Etc. group director of business engagement.

“After all, businesses are facing a tough enough time already, without feeling the extra pressure of moral obligation.

“However bringing in upcoming young talent, with a fresh approach and new ideas can be a good thing for any business.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s emergency package to ease the economic impact of coronavirus includes a host of measures to help tackle a rise in youth unemployment.

At Etc. Gary and his team have been working hard to unpick the details ready to help employers make the most of the opportunities available, whilst also reducing the number of young people becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training), and upskilling and retraining people to get them back into work.

While, he said, with its complexities and nuances, it can feel like “unravelling a bowl of spaghetti”, it is about utilising the incentives that are available to best suit the individual business and its sector.

Of course, following a tough few months, there will be many employers who may not be confident yet about what the coming year will bring, and therefore understandably feel reluctant to commit to new recruitment.

But Gary said there are options that can give employers breathing space or cash flow to help make a firm commitment.

“Using the new schemes might just give them the time or financial support they need to feel more confident moving forward,” he said.

Headlining the government’s plans is the Kickstart Scheme, subsidising six-month work placements for those on Universal Credit aged 16 to 24 and deemed at risk of long term unemployment.

But additional apprenticeship incentives (as well as local grants available in the Tees Valley), high quality traineeships and the growth of bespoke sector-based work academies, assisting with the recruitment of what Gary describes as an “oven-ready” workforce, are also ways employers can bring new talent into their business.

“Something like a three-month traineeship, which incorporates a four-week work placement, might be just enough to give a company the time they need, if they don’t feel quite ready to recruit them as an apprentice,” he said.

Finding the right person can be made much easier, through a free service such as a sector based work academy, where sector specific skills can be delivered as part of the academy so the candidates can hit the ground running.

Gary said: “There isn’t one route that suits all, which is why we would urge employers looking to take advantage of the government support on offer to bring new talent into their business to come and speak to us about their options.”

  • The Education Training Collective incorporates Stockton Riverside College, Redcar and Cleveland College, Bede Sixth Form, NETA Training and The Skills Academy. Contact the Etc. Business Development Team on 01642 865581 or email: business@the-etc.ac.uk.