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Amey focuses on essential skills for young people to tackle inequality

Amey has launched a report which outlines the outcomes of bringing together a group of leading experts in employment skills, to discuss the current trends and approach in supporting the development of essential skills within young people programmes. 

People from disadvantaged backgrounds have fewer opportunities to build essential skills, such as teamwork, speaking and listening, and problem solving, at school. This means fewer chances and motivation to upskill at work, which can lead to lower skills, life satisfaction and wages.  

Higher levels of essential skills pay a dividend as a wage premium of around 15 per cent or £3,400 per year for full-time workers (taken from the Essential Skills Tracker Report 2022), particularly when combined with the ability to transfer and apply those skills.  

Earlier this year, to help tackle this inequality, Amey brought together experts from Investors in People, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), Skills Builder Partnership and Business in the Community. The event was co-located with a meeting of 28 Amey employees completing their DofE Gold Award to enable Amey’s young people to join the debate and inspire conversation on what more can be done. 

Suggestions from the report include:  

  • Providing greater visibility and understanding of all the roles and requirements across a wide range of sectors 
  • Offering visibility on what a working day or week looks like to help young people decide on careers and qualifications 
  • Be more proactive in recruitment – tapping into wider groups to access diverse skills and experience – and being more visible in communities. Young people often need support and role models to encourage them to apply for opportunities 

Talent is spread equally across the UK, however, opportunity is not. Amey believes that investing and leaving a positive legacy in these communities is vital and says addressing the inequalities in education and skills must be a central part of the future of levelling up.  

Sarah Hale, Social Value Manager, Amey, commented: “Amey provides industry-leading employment opportunities, training and apprenticeships and recognises the role it can play in opening up such opportunities in wider industry. This session was incredibly helpful to see what we’re already doing well and what we could add to our young people outreach and programmes.” 

Amey has committed to reporting regularly on these issues to stakeholders and the wider industry, as well as continuing to champion robust conversation and action. 

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