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Over a third of UK employers are now helping to bridge the gap between education and work

Published: 17 December 2013 - Rachael Morling

According to a survey of more than 1,000 UK employers, conducted by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, 35% of employers are now engaging with local schools and colleges.

The CIPD is urging UK businesses to channel their engagement with schools via established programmes, such as the Inspiring the Future initiative. With 70% of state secondary schools in England now signed up to Inspiring the Future, it provides a free and easy method for businesses and schools to connect.

The research, part of the CIPD’s Learning to Work programme, revealed that many employers have increased the number of access routes into their organisations for young people. Amongst those employers who offer Apprenticeship schemes, 56% report that they have increased the number over the last twelve months. The number of Traineeships and school-leaver programmes on offer has also been increased in many organizations.

However, the data, highlighted in the research summary, ‘The opportunity – information gap: the role of employer engagement with schools’, also revealed that too few employers were receiving applications from young people aged 16-24; with 24% of employers not receiving a single application from a young person over the last year, and almost a third (31%) of private sector organisation having no applications from young people.

In order to overcome this, and ensure that young people are made aware of the many work opportunities on offer and how to access them, the CIPD has joined forces with Inspiring the Future, a free national initiative set up by the Education and Employers Taskforce to match volunteers from the world of work with local state schools and colleges. As a result of the partnership more than 1,200 HR professionals have signed up to volunteer in schools over the past six months, making themselves available to deliver career insight talks and CV and interview advice sessions.

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