Employers and managers from businesses across Orkney are being invited to attend an event designed to help them with local recruitment and retention issues.
Organised by the Local Employment Partnership (LEP), the drop-in session will take place between 12-2pm on Wednesday 1 March, and is the first major event in the new Kirkwall facility called The Hub for Learning, Skills and Work.
Experts from Developing the Young Workforce Orkney, Robert Gordon University, Orkney Island Council (OIC), Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Business Gateway, Employability Orkney and Orkney College UHI will be on hand to answer questions and share practical support.
Lindsey Johnson, the Council’s Community Learning Development Employability Team Manager, said: “There are a variety of recruitment issues being faced by employers in the current landscape in Orkney, and they are finding it difficult to recruit and retain staff.
“This event will promote the variety of ways in which they can broaden their approach and become an employer of choice; accessing people that are looking for employment opportunities or equally support employers to retain staff they already have in their workforce.”
The LEP also revealed it will be launching a new booklet to help employees better understand their employment rights. Alongside this, they intend to develop an employers’ toolkit to support businesses when recruiting new staff.
Lindsey added: “At this event, we will be seeking feedback from employers on the support and resources that would be most useful for them in a toolkit. Employers feedback is invaluable to ensure that we meet the needs of our local employers.”
The Hub was funded and designed jointly by SDS and OIC.
Kerri Liddle, team leader for SDS in Orkney said: “This is the first major event in our new Hub, and it is exactly the type of occasion the space was designed for. A place for employability partners to work collaboratively to support local people move into employment, and to help them develop the future skills needed for the fast-paced changing world of work.
“The Hub also provides a co-working space that will help enhance our partnership approach even more.”
Championing what young people in Orkney have to offer at event will be Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Orkney.
Rachel Scarth is DYW Orkney Project Manager. She said: “We are delighted to support this information event as we are aware that employers across all sectors are facing recruitment challenges at the moment.
“This event will enable them to speak to organisations who can support them to access the hidden workforce or help them to make simple changes to their recruitment process, making it more accessible.
“Employers will also find information and support to help them develop new or existing staff, helping them shape their workforce to suit their business needs. This is really important, as many of our young people leave school and move directly into employment so offering work-based learning is a great way to enable people to develop and progress while on the job so to speak.”
DYW will be sharing information about the apprenticeships family, helping employers to access advice and support to assist them offer these opportunities to new and existing staff.
“We can also help support employers to access their future workforce by engaging with young people while they are still in school, through opportunities such as work placements or volunteering, by attending our careers events, or offering work inspiration activities such as talks and workplace visits.”
Voluntary Action Orkney are keen to talk to local employers about how they can gain value from volunteering.
This might be by developing their employee volunteering programme - a scheme that can engage staff, strengthen their community and build their business or they could find ways local young people can be inspired by their business.
CEO Morven Brooks said: “Volunteering can make your business stand out as a better place to work and deepen your connection to the local community. Employee supported volunteering can make a significant impact on staff morale and engagement.
“You could also think about creating opportunities for young people to come and volunteer for you. This could be through a supported volunteering opportunity with our Connect programme for young people aged between 15-21, who are unsure of what steps to take next. Or with our Youth Development service, who help young volunteers across Orkney find placements to enhance their CV. A volunteering opportunity with your business might be the inspiration they need to find their way forward in life.”