YOUNG people and business are being brought closer together through a unique guidebook which will help companies reap the benefits of a new generation of better skilled youngsters.
Skills North East – a regional partnership supporting skills and employment in the region – has launched a 14 to 19-year-old employer engagement guide for North East businesses, to help support the skills development of young people as part of the Make It Count campaign.
Working With 14-19 Year Olds in the North East acts as a ‘quick and easy’ resource for businesses and organisations currently working with or looking to support the development of young people through learning which relates more to the world of work.
Featuring a How to Guide and directory of school, college and work-based learning providers, the guide aims to increase the engagement between education providers and local employers, which supports the Government’s priorities for 14-19 education.
Alan Clarke, chief executive of One North East, said: “This guide is important to the North East as we need to prepare our young people to succeed in life and possess the types of skills necessary to drive forward the future growth of our economy, which forms a vital part of our regional economic strategy.
“There are an estimated 99,000 14 to 19- year-olds in the region, and we want to ensure all have access to work-related learning or work experience placements. This is just the beginning of a series of steps to ensure that young people have access to the skills they seek to support their academic development, and which will ultimately increase the knowledge-base of our region.”
The guide is the result of recent research conducted by the region’s 14 -19 Commission Employer Engagement Group, of which 132 employers and 71 educational institutions ranging from schools to universities were questioned about their understanding of working with 14 to 19-year-olds.
The report identified a need to increase the number of employers that support the development of 14 to 19-year-olds, maintain and increase the scope and scale of engagement and raise employers’ awareness of the 14-19 curriculum and their potential role in helping to shape it.
James Ramsbotham, chief executive of North East Chamber of Commerce, said: “Young people are the lifeblood of each and every business. They are its future workforce and, as such, companies have a real vested interest in engaging with young people and helping to develop their skills. This guide gives practical advice and support to help firms to get involved and I would encourage all businesses in the region to take part.”
The new guide is expected to go to over 500 different outlets including schools, businesses and training providers and is available to download on the Skills North East website.
Richard Elphick, chairman of the North East region of the Institute of Directors, said: “There are many benefits for employers who recruit young people, including the opportunity to raise the level of skills and give something back to the community.
“Not only do young people offer a competitive advantage, but the right attitude and skills set to match the needs of the business community and the sectors in which they operate.”
For more information about engaging with 14 to 19-year-olds and to access “Working with 14-19 Year Olds in the North East” visit www.skillsnortheast.co.uk/makeitcount