Call to business from Sheffield Futures

Call to business from Sheffield Futures

26 October 2017

A Call to Arms has been issued to businesses in the region, by Sheffield Futures: help change the lives of our most disadvantaged young people by taking them into your workforce. 

The appeal is from Sheffield Futures-lead Talent Match, a programme which has been transforming the lives of young NEETS for the last four years. 

Its coaches work one-to-one to help with their personal struggles, enable them to gain confidence, qualifications and work experience - and support them and their employer for many months. 

The scheme has already nurtured 622 disadvantaged 18-25 year olds who had been out of work for more than a year into employment across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. A further 1,300 are currently being helped into education, training and voluntary work. ?? 

Sheffield Futures currently benefit from Big Lottery funds which end in 2018. The team want to get the most out of the project before this happens and attracting more employers is key to this.

Since Talent Match began in 2013, 189 firms from the region’s voluntary and private sectors have got on board. And in the last 18 months, 165 companies in the region have signed up. 

“But we need more - we have young clients waiting right now for work experience placements that can change their lives,” said Gail Gibbons, Chief Executive Officer at Sheffield Futures, the young people’s charity running Talent Match. 

“These people are going to be left behind without help to change their lives and secure brighter futures by joining the local workforce. 

“Getting them off benefits and into work is good for the public purse, but it also enables these young people to reach for dreams they never thought were possible. And these young people are an untapped resource; they can bring real value to the region’s workforce.” 

Numerous Talent Match clients are currently in unpaid placements and 60 are employed with local companies on Wage Subsidy, an important offer from the programme, which enables a wage to be paid for up to six months. 

Of 20 whose Wage Subsidy has ended, seven have been taken on by their employer. Others have been able to use their experience of work to find another job, one is now an apprentice and another has set up in business. 

Said Ms Gibbons: “Employer engagement is critical. We are looking for caring employers we can work with to offer quality placements. 

“We understand companies may feel it’s a risk to take on young people who do not have much work experience. But we are there to support them and the young person and the reward is two-fold; many companies have jobs they always struggle to fill and successful company owners tell us they didn’t have the best start in life and want to give someone a helping hand.” 

Employers already signed up include 20 who now also act as Employer Champions, and Robert Woodhead Construction of Chesterfield, who are now on Talent Match’s strategic board. Zenza Limited, a bookkeeping payroll and credit control provider in South Yorkshire has been working with Talent Match since the beginning of the year. Leeann Shentall, Credit Control Manager said: “We believe in giving chances to those that want chances. We like to see people develop and are happy we are in a position to make that happen. We know that there are young people that have a true desire to work, but need an opportunity.” 

Businesses looking to learn more can contact Sheffield Futures Talent Match team or attend the 10 November conference in Rotherham