JOB hopes and opportunities to inspire the next generation of workplace talent have become the focus of a unique business networking partnership created by Russell Taylor Group chairman Peter Russell.
The alliance between employers, educationalists, training providers and youth organisations is aimed at giving young people their first chance to get on the jobs ladder. It’s also designed to offer a second chance to many others - such as armed forces veterans and the socially excluded - to join the world of work.
Peter, a keen champion of developing and nurturing talent within his own operation as well as in local communities where the business has its roots, explained: “Bridging the gap between aspiring young talent and forward-thinking companies has never been more important than now, with greater attention on engagement between employers, schools and colleges at the forefront of our mindset.
“As workplace needs become even more complex, strong collaboration among these groups is crucial to address our current skills gaps so we can prepare the next generation to become the business leaders of tomorrow.
“However, the focus of our talent pools need not be limited to young people alone, important as this is to setting students and school-leavers on their career paths. Recruiting armed forces veterans who have many life skills, ex-offenders who have been shown to become loyal and hard-working employees are all deserving of a second chance - hopes and dreams of worthwhile employment still very much apply here.”
Sharing their expertise and knowledge at Burton Networking Group - meeting at Russell Taylor Group’s headquarters at Burton Manor - are representatives from Liverpool University, Birkenhead’s Merseyside Community Training and The Hive Youth Zone, the Liverpool-headquartered Progress Group, West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce and the Women Into Science and Engineering WISE campaign as well as specific sector skills experts.
Active supporters of the networking team also include Dave McCormick, project manager of industrial and commercial painters Curtis Painting Group, which has a growing apprenticeship programme, and Sue Henry, director of MSH Partnership which specialises in workplace wellbeing. The newest member of the group, Alison Inman, a Merseyside Police officer involved in community work on Wirral’s Leasowe estate, sees the group as an important route to employment for the young people living there.
Peter, pictured (right) with Dave and Alison, added: “Everyone brings their own particular skills and knowledge to these meetings where we can share information about ongoing initiatives, trends and programmes that link in to the important agenda of getting people into work, their training and development and how we retain them in the workplace.
“As the group grows so does the awareness of how no one in business, training or education can stand alone to close up our regional skills gaps. Harnessing all this expertise is hopefully a step in the right direction.”