Written by Carolyn McConnell, Business Connector, Business in the Community
The past year has been one of extraordinary challenges. We have seen record levels of redundancies as industries such as hospitality, retail and culture have been brought to their knees, removing those early career opportunities that are so important for young people. We have redefined our understanding of keyworkers, clapping to show our appreciation whilst dealing with the uncomfortable knowledge that pay does not always reward true value to society.
Existing divides in society have been exposed and accentuated, as unemployment and financial hardship have fallen disproportionately on young people, older workers, women and black, Asian and ethnic minority people. For young people in education the disruption of the past year will carry a long tail as those without access to the devices, data and home environments to keep up during long spells of home-schooling risk falling further behind.
As 2021 unfolds Business in the Community (BITC) is calling on businesses to support the most disadvantaged as we build back responsibly from COVID-19. BITC are running a number of virtual events across the country to make sure no one is left behind. Details are below and I would appreciate it if you could share with your networks.
Together we can make sure no one gets left behind
UK unemployment is likely to reach 2.69 million by the middle of 2021. COVID-19 has driven up unemployment and exacerbated inequalities in society – young people, women, low paid workers, older workers and black, Asian and minority ethnic groups have been hardest hit.
Take immediate action with Business in the Community to support those most impacted by Covid-19. Together we can bridge the unemployment gap and make sure no one gets left behind.
Join our virtual events taking place across the country. Understand the challenges faced by individuals, and the practical steps your business can take to:
- Expand horizons throughjobcoaching and insights into career opportunities
- Develop essential skills through Kickstart, Apprenticeships and work experience opportunities
- Create a level playing field through removing recruitment barriers
You will hear from regional partners including business leaders, frontline organisations and the individuals they support. Come away from the event understanding the specific opportunities to collaborate and take targeted action to ensure that no one gets left behind.
Attend the national or regional event
Sheffield providers and employers may wish to sign up for the Yorkshire and Humber BITC event on Thursday 4th March at 2pm.
The national event: No one left behind: Improving employment beyond Covid will take place on Wednesday 25 February at 10am.
About the national event
Chaired by Nicola Inge, Director of Employment & Skills at Business in the Community (BITC), this event will include insight and expertise from speakers across the employment and business landscape about the challenges we face due to the impact of COVID-19.
The webinar will provide:
- an overview of the employment landscape and update on recent policy and government initiatives, including the Government’s Kickstart Scheme.
- examples of the actions that business can take to support people right now and to build a more inclusive job market in recovery
- opportunities to ask questions and give views on what is needed to stimulate greater support across business and Government
- an overview of how employers can work with BITC to ensure no one is left behind.
- Anna Russell – Bupa, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Director
- Dawn Moore – J. Murphy & Sons Limited, HR Director
- Nicola Inge – BITC, Employment & Skills Campaign Director
- Derek Kilday – Department for Work & Pensions, Group Director National Employment and Partnership Team
- Geraint Williams – Department for Work & Pensions, Kickstart Scheme
- Tony Wilson – Institute for Employment Studies, Director
BITC’s Employment agenda
BITC’s Employment campaign focuses on creating a skilled and inclusive workforce for today and tomorrow.
Creating meaningful employment is one of the most significant ways that business contributes to the livelihoods of individuals and communities, and is for many the only sustainable route out of poverty.
Offering quality experience of work, adopting new approaches to recruitment and breaking down barriers to entering work for people from disadvantaged groups can benefit business by tackling skills shortages, building new talent pipelines, boosting retention rates and achieving higher productivity.
Following government advice on social distancing, all BITC events over the coming months will be delivered remotely via digital technology.