More than 100 senior business leaders from across the Sheffield City Region have united for the launch of a new project that aims to support young people into the world of work.
Sheffield City Region and South Yorkshire Futures have teamed up with Inspiring the Future to launch the “Talent Bank” programme, which will encourage businesses and employees across the region to volunteer their time and inspire young people from all our region’s diverse communities.
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “I believe that it’s not just the responsibility of schools, colleges and universities to educate and inspire our young people, but it’s also the role of all of us in society – and that includes our businesses. Where you grow up shouldn’t determine where you end up.
“By connecting schools and colleges with appropriate volunteers and business leaders, we can create new opportunities, broaden horizons, and plant the seeds of ambition from which we can grow the workforce of the future.”
Talent Bank will offer businesses a range of options in which they can contribute in supporting young people. These will include offering careers advice, becoming a school governor and going into schools to speak about careers opportunities.
Organisations or individual employees can register online and provide details about their skills and work history. They can then search the online database and match their skills with volunteer opportunities within their local schools, colleges or respond to school invitations. This means that the business or individual is in control of how many volunteer hours they give.
Research conducted by the Education and Employers charity shows that taking part in careers talks with volunteers from businesses can change the attitudes of 14 to 16-year-old students to their education. This can influence their future plans and their subject choices, motivate them to work harder and improve their academic achievement.
Greg Burke, Director of South Yorkshire Futures, said: “Sheffield Hallam University is committed to driving successful partnerships between education and employers. That is why we’re delighted to be launching the Talent Bank as part of the South Yorkshire Futures programme. The Talent Bank is a positive way to demonstrate that we are greater than the sum of our parts. There are some fantastic examples of effective employer engagement already going on in South Yorkshire and this is an opportunity to bring them together as a suite of offers for businesses to engage in, in the right way for them.”
Adeana Raper, Employment and Skills Manager from Henry Boot Construction Limited, said: “I was very pleased to be asked to speak at the launch of the Sheffield Talent Bank by the Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis, to showcase the work that Henry Boot Construction has been doing alongside Barnsley Council within local schools.
“To enable our region to grow we must inspire our young people to have aspirations; to enable them to realise their full potential. As employers we can assist by giving young people the opportunity to see our businesses, to give an insight to how a business operates and how they could contribute to the success of that business.”