Working with the BITC to bridge the skills gap

  12 December, 2017
Working with the BITC to bridge the skills gap

A seven-strong team from Novus recently volunteered to help at a career-focused event for young people in Stoke-on-Trent.

The special event was organised by Business in the Community (BITC) together with Humanutopia, a social enterprise which specialises in working with young people. Its aim was to appeal to young people who may have become disenchanted with the school to open their eyes to the world of work and the opportunities available to them.

More than 100 students, all in Year 10 at four BITC partner schools in the city, were welcomed to take part in the day-long event, held at Stoke City’s bet365 stadium. The students were joined by a team of 17 volunteers from a number of different businesses in the local area including seven from Novus.

The business volunteers were on hand throughout the day to share their experiences and offer advice to inspire and motivate the students as well as encouraging them to overcome any barriers to work they may face.

As well as small informal group discussions with the business volunteers, students also participated in three sessions all designed to address any potential issues which students may encounter as they leave school to begin their working lives.

The first highlighted the possible barriers to students’ future success, including their own attitude and behaviours and the impact this can have on others. Next, an interactive session run by Humanutopia addressed the key qualities and life skills needed to succeed in their future careers while the day concluded with a chance for the students to promote themselves to prospective employers with a pitch-style presentation.

Our chairman, Stuart Seddon said: “I always enjoy the chance to take part in events like this and it was a real pleasure to be involved.  As a business, we’ve always put a great deal of emphasis on supporting young people and nurturing the next generation and it’s something I’m personally very passionate about.

“The widening skills gap is particularly concerning for the construction industry at the moment. Working closely with local schools and the BITC, as we have done for a number of years, should help to close the gap to ensure the industry and our young people alike face a brighter future.”

The partner schools and businesses involved in the event were all members of BITC’s Stoke Business Class Cluster. The group work together all year round to ensure that young people attending local schools gain the workplace skills they need to build successful working lives.

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