Employers urged to be more ‘open-minded’

Tuesday, 12 March, 2019

The “Open Minds” employer breakfast at the International Convention Centre (ICC) on Friday 22 March at 7.30am till 10.30am, will highlight what is seen as the biggest challenge to tackling unemployment amongst young people – a lack of sufficient employers willing to recruit from the ranks of longer-term unemployed.

Organised by BVSC, following their National Lottery Community funded Talent Match Birmingham and Solihull programme that supported young people into employment, the event will also highlight the challenges faced by many West Midlands companies facing post-Brexit uncertainty. A recent report from KPMG revealed a sharp decline in the number of permanent job vacancies in the West Midlands, due to the uncertainty around post -Brexit employment.

“There is an untapped resource that many employers find difficult to access – and yet our research into the success of the Talent Match programme in Birmingham and Solihull has revealed that not only is there a willing cohort of young people keen to be employed but that by doing so, the savings to the taxpayer are considerable. All too often these young people are an ignored community but are keen to work and use their talents and skills,” said Brian Carr, CEO of BVSC who will be speaking at the event on the results of the five-year Talent Match programme.

Employers will have the opportunity to hear from key note speaker, WMCA Mayor Andy Street on the subject of employability challenges for young people, as well as a wider discussion on how Birmingham businesses should pledge to become open-minded employers – appreciating and employing young people regardless of their personal barriers.

According to the Office for National Statistics, young people in Birmingham face the highest rate of unemployment, with only 70% currently in employment. Many of those who once fell into this statistic have been supported by BVSC and have gone on to become ambassadors for youth employment, will also speak at the event – followed by a panel discussion hosted by Marc Reeves, Editor-in-chief for the Midlands at Reach plc. 

BVSC’s Talent Match programme, which came to an end in December 2018, supported more than 800 young people aged 18-24 into some form of sustainable employment, training or work experience. An independent report revealed for every £1 invested in the programme by the National Lottery Community Fund, the value generated is £3 – saving the taxpayer nearly £4.5 million.

For more information or to register your free place at the event, please visit https://bit.ly/2NLXJai