An event developed to help local employers learn more about attracting, recruiting and retaining a young workforce was held last week.
Hosted by Remarkable and DYW Orkney, the #BeTheChangemaker event on Friday 17 May 2019, gave employers a chance to hear from organisations who can help them recruit young people into their business, or help them access the opportunities available to develop new or existing employees.
Presentations were given by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Remarkable, as well as by two local employers who were able to speak about their experience of investing in the development of their young workforce.
Claire Sim, from the local SDS team, set the scene for those in attendance by giving an overview of the current labour market in Orkney. She then spoke about the apprenticeships framework, before discussing how SDS can support employers, including through the Skills for Growth initiative.
Skills for Growth is a free service for businesses which offers up to two days free consultancy from SDS and Remarkable. They will work with employers to understand their skill need, create a detailed people plan and guide employers to the right support. Further information can be found at the link below.
Hilary Crick from Remarkable then spoke about the support they can give employers, including helping them achieve Investors in Young People accreditation. She also carried out an activity with those present to help them think about the needs of a multi-generational workforce in relation to how they communicate and how they like to receive feedback. This proved really thought-provoking for those present and stimulated a lot of discussion.
NHS Orkney and Northlink Ferries then shared their stories of employing and developing a young workforce. Both highlighted an aging workforce and possible skills gap as a reason for working to recruit young people, along with wanting to give opportunities to young people within a local business or organisation.
Looking at barriers to recruitment for young people, they both mentioned advertised vacancies requesting experience in a previous job role and questioned why this was needed. Young people can bring other skills to a job role and capability and competency are more important than experience.
Both employers offer great apprenticeship or cadetship opportunities, and also offer work experience opportunities to enable young people to try a job first to see if it’s the right fit for them. This, along with engaging with DYW Orkney at events in schools, is a real benefit to help them attracting a young workforce.
Finally, we welcomed colleagues from Orkney College UHI, the Job Centre and Orkney Employment Support who gave an overview of the support their organisations can give employers in recruiting and developing staff.
A networking event over lunch enabled those present a chance to speak on a one-to-one basis with other employers and the providers.
Thank you to all of our presenters and those who attended the event.