Opportunities Doncaster ready to support school leavers receiving exam results

Since the announcement of the full lockdown back in March, local businesses have guided Doncaster Chamber on their most important issues. The challenge for young people leaving education this summer has been chief amongst these conversations: there is no escaping the fact that the availability of jobs for new entrants is reduced this year.

Since the announcement of the full lockdown back in March, local businesses have guided Doncaster Chamber on their most important issues. The challenge for young people leaving education this summer has been chief amongst these conversations: there is no escaping the fact that the availability of jobs for new entrants is reduced this year.

In the Quarter 2 Doncaster Business Insight survey, respondents stated they expected employment levels to decrease by over 30% in the following months. Results also indicated a reduced appetite to recruit apprentices due to uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, just as school leavers and further education graduates are beginning to look for jobs.

The Government have indicated that young people will play a vital role in the UK’s economic recovery, and is investing a total of £1.6 billion into scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships.

From August 1, businesses will be paid £2,000 for each new apprentice hired under 25, and £1,500 for any new apprentices over 25. The scheme is in addition to the existing £1,000 grant offered to businesses who take on young apprentices between 16 and 18.

Doncaster Chamber President Jill Wood said:

“It’s clear that skills, training and apprenticeships are going to be central to the UK’s economic recovery programme and new job creation.

“The Government is right to invest in apprenticeships, as studies show that apprentices boost the future growth of the businesses by providing innovation in the workplace for years to come. Apprentices offer a fresh outlook, create a dynamic workforce and often result in better staff retention, which reduces recruitment costs in the long run.”

Ensuring that Doncaster’s young people have the right skills for the modern workplace is vital both for their futures and the borough’s future economic prosperity. Apprenticeships can improve local economies by developing the local labour force skills, wages and future career progression. Doncaster Chamber is working closely with employers, supporting them to create new high quality apprenticeship schemes to help boost the local economy.

Working in partnership with the Government’s Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, Opportunities Doncaster and Doncaster Chamber will be delivering a range of webinars to provide employers with the right information, support and guidance on taking on apprentices.

Wood continued:

“Our own experience is that, despite honest expectations of the number of jobs they can support, employers are genuinely willing to do whatever they can to help new jobseekers overcome the obstacles they will face. Many of the Chamber’s members are already working with Opportunities Doncaster to explore the actions businesses can take to improve opportunities for our young people.”

On 27 August, Opportunities Doncaster is hosting a virtual careers and employability fair which will allow school leavers to connect directly with employers in the area.

The Your Future: Next Steps virtual fair is free to attend and open to all students aged between 11-18 and school leavers.

Employers including St Leger Homes, Unipart Rail and Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals will be exhibiting at the event, ready to speak to young people about the opportunities open to them as they take their next steps.

Jill Wood said: “The challenges in grading exams this year have been widely documented, as has the distress of some school leavers who haven’t got the grades they hoped for. Doncaster’s business community is full of people with varying academic achievements who have done incredible things that brought rewards for themselves and for their communities.

“We would offer our encouragement to those who are downbeat today to keep their heads up, and reassure them that every business worth its salt will look beyond grades to identify and recruit the talented young people they need to succeed in the future.”

For school leavers who want to attend the Your Future: Next Steps event, book via Eventbrite.

For businesses who are interested in exhibiting, register to exhibit via the Doncaster Chamber website.

 

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Posted: 13 Aug, 2020