On the 13th September, Worktaster was invited as part of Enterprise Nation to visit 10 Downing Street to have a round table discussion with the Head of Business Relations, Jimmy Mcloughlin. A key issue for business growth is finding motivated and qualified young people to join the workforce in the Midlands area. There is a shortage in skilled workers in the Midlands, often as a result of young people not being given good guidance and work experience when they are making career and Higher Education choices. Moreover, recent numbers suggest that the construction industry has fallen into a massive skills shortage with a forecast of up to a million in the next 10 years (courtesy of the Building Alliance). Mcloughlin gave us an invaluable opportunity with his experience at the IoD (Institute of Directors), as the Deputy Head of Policy and Head of External Affairs.
IoD became more known as a leader in supporting growth for young enterprises during Mcloughlin’s time, taking the number of young enterprise members from a subtle 100 to just over 1,000 as stated by CityAM. As Jimmy is now in Downing Street with the Prime Minister, we were given an opportunity to make recommendations to the government on how to support the number of young workers into the skilled sectors in the Midlands. Some of the key solutions we suggested were a refocus of how experience placements work within the careers and FE arena. Rather than taking on work experience students that measure in tick boxes, we discussed providing experience that has more value to the individual in their career journey. We also discussed the prospects of getting young people into their long term career or apprenticeships, what is preventing them from doing so and how business and educators can guide them more effectively. Mcloughlin was very receptive to our concerns and at the end of the meeting committed to visit businesses in Birmingham during December 2017, including those from Enterprise Nation. We look forward to having him.