Firms ‘should en­gage with un­tapped tal­ent’

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Rhi­an­non Curry

COM­PA­NIES should do more to em­ploy marginalised young adults if they want to ar­rest the loom­ing labour short­age, a new coali­tion of ma­jor busi­nesses will say to­day.

Fears that an ex­o­dus of for­eign work­ers will hit the con­struc­tion, agri­cul­ture and re­tail in­dus­tries could be dealt with by tar­get­ing the nearly 500,000 peo­ple aged 16-24 not cur­rently in ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment or train­ing, the group says.

A new guide launched by the coali­tion, which in­cludes com­pa­nies such as Marks & Spencer, BAE Sys­tems and Berke­ley Group, aims to en­cour­age com­pa­nies to bring peo­ple into full-time work through spe­cial­ist schemes and ap­pren­tice­ships. The guide out­lines how em­ploy­ers can tar­get peo­ple who might face bar­ri­ers to work.

Of the half a mil­lion young adults not in work, 40pc live in a house­hold where no one is in work, the re­port found.

Rob Per­rins, CEO of the Berke­ley Group and chair­man of the Berke­ley Foun­da­tion, the house­builder’s char­i­ta­ble arm, said: “Peo­ple ask us, why re­cruit some­one who might not be an easy fit?

“The an­swer is, these young adults bring a whole new di­men­sion to our busi­ness and we need dif­fer­ent kinds of tal­ent, not just more of the same.”

Peter Cheese, CEO of the Char­tered In­sti­tute of Per­son­nel De­vel­op­ment, said tra­di­tional tal­ent pools had been “over-fished”.

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