Business in the Community and Jobcentre Plus join forces to help businesses recruit unemployed talent

Business in the Community and Jobcentre Plus join forces to help businesses recruit unemployed talent

  • 90 UK businesses make 25,000 jobs available to unemployed people

Business in the Community (BITC), the charity that champions responsible business, today launches a new national programme at The Skills Show to help businesses increase the number of unemployed people they recruit.  The ‘Generation Talent’ initiative is driven by a consortium of 15 champion businesses, with the backing of 90 UK employers who have identified that by making small changes to their recruitment process they can make 25,000 jobs available to the unemployed.

For the 2.47 million unemployed people in the UK there are significant challenges in getting out of the trap of unemployment.  92% of businesses use informal methods such as word of mouth to recruit entry level staff, automatically cutting off many people from even knowing the job is advertised.  This has implications for young people who are more likely to apply for these roles.  The stigma around unemployment adds another barrier, with 72% of managers considering unemployment for six months or more as a negative indicator of a candidate’s ability.

Generation Talent aims to raise awareness of  unemployed talent – particularly young talent and encourage businesses to make small changes to their recruitment practices to make a big difference to the unemployed:

  • Find out if current recruitment processes automatically sift unemployed applicants out
  • Reassess what qualifications and experience really needed for entry level roles and instead emphasise importance of aptitude and attitude during recruitment
  • Advertise roles through the Jobcentre Plus, the primary route to work for unemployed people, which currently has 2.47 million people seeking employment.
  • Take the ‘Generation Talent Self-Assessment Tool’ test to help managers involved in recruitment identify and tackle any internal bias against unemployed people during recruitment
  • Use the new Generation Talent initiative, which offers a bespoke account management service from Jobcentre Plus that centralises an organisation’s regional and national recruitment needs

Steve Holliday Chief Executive for National Grid, and Chair, Talent and Skills Leadership Team for BITC, said:  “The UK has the fastest growing rate of youth unemployment of all the G8 countries. And many of these young people are unemployed not because they’re lazy or demotivated, but because businesses are inadvertently excluding them from opportunities. 12 months ago we turned the mirror on ourselves at National Grid and found we weren’t making our jobs accessible to all unemployed people, either because we weren’t advertising at Jobcentre Plus or because of the way we were wording our adverts. So we made changes to how we did things.  With the launch of Generation Talent today, 90 UK businesses have committed to making 25,000 jobs visible to unemployed people.  We want more businesses to join us in that pledge and ensure they’re not excluding people from being able to apply.”

Esther McVey, Minister for Employment, said: “Jobcentres work with thousands of motivated, aspirational, young people who are just looking to get their foot on the career ladder but unfortunately, businesses do not always know how to tap into that talent.  That’s why we launched ‘Generation Talent’ with Business in the Community – a campaign that is all about refusing to allow the enthusiasm and potential of our young people to be ignored.  Together with BITC we are calling on businesses to explore what more they can do to make a difference and to take up the tailored support available to help make that happen.  By giving more opportunities to unemployed young people they will be leading the way in an important arena, and I am convinced that they will see dividends for their own businesses at the same time.”

Patrick Dempsey, Managing Director, Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants said: “There are almost one million young people in this country who are aged 16-24 and unemployed. This is a huge figure but the actions that can reduce it are actually quite small. We want all UK businesses to support the criteria that recruitment and selection processes are not about unintentionally  putting unemployed people at a disadvantage by making ‘previous experience’ mandatory for entry level jobs. If we can change these behaviours it can have a hugely positive effect on the prospects of a generation of talented people.”

Stephen Howard, Chief Executive of Business in the Community, said: “Unemployment rates remain high, particularly for young people. As long as businesses are not targeting unemployed people to fill vacant positions, these rates will not change fast.  Through Generation Talent, businesses can start to address this barrier.  A responsible business is one that ensures opportunities are available to all, regardless of employment status, and by making small changes to recruitment processes they can unlock a generation of untapped talent and make a dent in unemployment figures.”

The new Generation Talent new service streamlines how businesses approach and recruit unemployed people through Jobcentre Plus and will advise businesses on how to recruit work-ready young people.  All the usual Jobcentre Plus services will be available to help businesses find the right person, and they will also provide candidates with support to help them succeed during the application and interview stages of recruitment.

To take the ‘Generation Talent Self-Assessment Tool’ test or sign up to Generation Talent please go to:

The 15 Generation Talent ‘Champion’ companies are: Asda, BBC, City & Guilds, Compass, CIPD, Costain, Direct Line, ISS, Jaguar Land Rover, ManpowerGroup, Midland Heart, Morgan Sindall, National Grid, Pertemps, and Whitbread.,1ZTM4,44H6K8,76AHL,1

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