Katerina Rudiger (CIPD) opened the session by talking about how important this area is, and referring to the many activities that CIPD is driving in this area (including Steps Ahead mentoring). The Learning to Work programme is publishing research and best practice guidelines alongside the volunteering programmes (Steps Ahead Mentoring and Inspiring the Future).

Claire Maydew (M&S) has been seconded to ‘Movement to Work’. M&S were wondering how they could help young people not in employment, education or training (so-called NEETs) and after pursuing a number of internal initiates, have now joined with 15 other organisations to form the Movement to Work initiative. Movement to Work is about collectively supporting 100,000 unemployed young people with an aim to help at least 50% of them to find paid employment, apprenticeships, or further study.

Movement to Work is working with the Prince’s Trust and job centre plus, and M&S are encouraging their own suppliers and partners to work with Movement to Work

Claire closed the session with an inspiring video looking at the positive impact that this has made for a significant number of young people. In addition, they’ve also seen lots of business benefits in engagement, development, recruitment & retention, and diversity. They’re trialling a number of mentoring schemes including Steps Ahead alongside other ways to connect with young people they’ve engaged with in the past. Interesting to see a great collaborative initiative that is making a huge difference, and a really important one.

Mike Thompson (Director of early careers, Barclays): Barclays have set out to support 5 million young futures and they’re doing that through Barclays apprenticeships and Barclays Lifeskills. They aimed the apprenticeships at the people who were struggling most with finding work, and found lots of people who were applying for loads of jobs with no success, couldn’t get a job without experience, and didn’t have access to anybody who could help them. Barclays launched the Lifeskills programme and made it open source, so that it was available to other organisations as well. In common with M&S, Barclays have been encouraging suppliers and clients to get involved and they have been able to reach out to 750,000 young people so far. Again, we closed with a video looking at the people who are being helped by Lifeskills, sharing very practical advice for other young people.

There is such a need in this area, and it is great to see great examples of tangible progress, driven through a collaborative approach.

(This was live-blogged during the session at CIPD14 – I’ve tried to capture a faithful summary of what was said, but my own views might occasionally creep in.)

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