back to news

Leicester charity leads way in shaping national recruitment inclusivity framework

16 November 2023

Employers are invited to assess themselves against nine new standards measuring the quality of their engagement with young job-seekers.

The Careers & Enterprise Company has developed its ‘Employer Standards’ framework as a method of improving engagement between young people and employers.

Each standard reflects a different aspect of the central role employers play in developing effective careers provision in schools and colleges.

Measures include providing opportunities for young people looking to embark on careers, building skills, and preparing young people for the application process.

More than 360 employers nationwide have already assessed themselves against the nine evidence-based standards. The results show:

  • Employers who promoted careers pathways were up to four times more likely to see an increase in the number of young people applying for apprenticeships.
  • Sectors, such as construction, with established systems for long-term engagement with young people were achieving more of the standards.
  • Employers were faring worst against the standard for preparing young people for application processes and interview.

Meeting with employers enables pupils and students to gain skills, build networks, and increase social capital – with disadvantaged young people benefiting most.

Such exchanges also benefit businesses, with CEC research finding that some are gaining from effective outreach amidst wider challenges with skills shortages.

Nationally, the likes of Tesco, Lloyds Banking Group, KPMG, and BAE Systems have already made use of the online assessment tool.

The LLEP Careers Hub was one of the first to pilot the framework.

Each of its 10 cornerstone employers – which include Cavendish Nuclear, CR Civil Engineering, DHL, and Leicester City FC – has completed the free assessment.

Meanwhile, The Mighty Creatives, another LLEP Careers Hub cornerstone employer, helped develop the resources for the inclusivity standard, which has now been rolled out nationwide.

It means that organisations which complete the survey, and not meeting the inclusivity standard, will be referred to a video and help guide created with the Leicester-based charity.

Phoebe Dawson, Chief Executive, LLEP, said: “Inclusivity is one of four pillars of Leicester and Leicestershire’s Economic Growth Strategy as we aim to create an adaptive workforce in which everyone has access to skills and career progression.

“By contributing to the development of the CEC framework, we are not just helping include young people but also bridging the gap between education and careers in industry.”

Dr Nick Owen MBE, Chief Executive, The Mighty Creatives, said: “The Pandemic seriously jeopardised the education and employment prospects of many young people.

“It is vital that employers are confident enough to be able to play a part in offering real, meaningful employment opportunities for those young people.

“Working with the LLEP Careers Hub, and contributing towards shaping the national recruitment inclusivity framework, does just that.”

Cornerstone employer chair Mary O’Shaugnessy, Safeguarding Specialist, Strategy and Regulation for Cadent Gas Ltd, said: “The employer assessment is easy to complete and provides a snapshot of areas where we need to focus – along with positive reinforcement of what is going well.”


Notes to Editors

Picture shows enterprise adviser Dan Lamoon, MD from Colab Creation, at a LLEP Careers Hub event (Copyright: LLEP Careers Hub)