Celebrating Employability Day

It's Employability Day, and the work of Inspira has never been so relevant. Mark Bowman, our Chief Executive, explains:

The pressure for people to find well-paid employment and sometimes second jobs and the pressures employers are facing to recruit and retain staff is causing a unique situation across the UK.

It’s certainly not a situation I have encountered in over 25 years working in Careers and Employability.

Many employers have had a difficult time recruiting staff as we have emerged from the pandemic. Many people have re-evaluated working lives and working practices in many organisations have changed.

We need to do everything we can to nurture the talent that we have available.

As a charity Inspira is unique, delivering a wide range of programmes to help make people ready for work and give them more of a chance to succeed whether that is at the start of careers or further on in the career path.

Even though unemployment is relatively low, people who haven’t been in work for a while need significant support.

These are often “hidden unemployed”, those who are not working but don’t show in unemployment figures due to a variety of reasons, often health related. Helping this group to contribute to the economy requires significant, and often specialist, support.

For individuals, for whatever reason, who have a period of unemployment or who have not worked for some time, gaining the confidence, skills and motivation can be difficult.

As a charity, our approach at Inspira of providing such work-ready skills and then crucially matching individuals with employers who have real-time vacancies is incredibly successful. We are really proud of the impact it has.

One of Inspira’s initiatives, The Key, has resulted in 2,114 unemployed people engaging with the programme to date, of which 608 have gained employment as a result of the support and qualifications available.

Such work is often funded by government and government bodies. There have been, and will be, a number of changes within national and local funding models.

As we celebrate the work of the sector on Employability Day, it’s crucial that the work to make the future workforce prepared, and those who are unemployed ready for work, is fully supported.

More than 21,000 people in northern England - across Cumbria and Lancashire - access Inspira’s services each year.

We offer careers advice to young people at key transition points, often using innovative programmes to connect employers with education and ultimately young people. This approach gives an ideal opportunity to prepare the future workforce for what lies ahead.

It isn’t always plain sailing for young people, especially on the back of the pandemic when more young people are struggling with the transition from education.

We support thousands of young people through motivational personal development programmes and intensive personal support. It’s crucial work.

It’s vital that whatever funding models are put in place in future, that this type of work continues. Businesses, organisations, individuals of all ages and all backgrounds, the UK economy, and charities like Inspira, depend on it, and the recruitment issues we are seeing today will only be the tip of the iceberg without it.