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Carillion campaign improving employability skills and social mobility for all

According to new research launched by integrated support services company, Carillion, the British public are of the opinion that helping homeless people into work and creating job opportunities for young people from lower income backgrounds should be among the UK’s top priorities to plug the skills gap.

The survey, which reveals the key routes to addressing the skills shortage and boosting social mobility also found that the public believed creating new job opportunities for people with disabilities and those leaving the armed forces should also be a priority. It also revealed that 53 per cent of UK adults have experienced barriers that have negatively impacted or potentially impacted their own social mobility.

Details of the survey have been released as Carillion launches its “Breaking down one million barriers” campaign, to focus on improving employability skills, inspiring the next generation of workers and helping people from disadvantaged groups to find long-term employment. Defined by Carillion as the ‘SHUNned’ (Skilled, Homeless, Unemployed Now) generation, these people are often overlooked, yet could address the skills gap, and boost the economy in an uncertain socioeconomic climate.

Speaking at the launch of Carillion’s latest Sustainability Report, Chief Executive, Richard Howson said: “We regularly hear about skills gaps in various industry sectors, especially engineering and construction, while there are pools of people who could fill those gaps if they had the right support. People from disadvantaged backgrounds, those with disabilities, ex-offenders and young people are already making exceptional contributions to our business, but often these groups get overlooked by society, with their skills and potential left untapped. Carillion’s ‘Breaking Down one Million Barriers’ programme is about using the influence of our business, the commitment of our employees, our customers, supply chain and partners to improve employability skills and social mobility for all.”

The survey also showed that there is appetite to volunteer amongst the UK public, but only around one in six currently do so and fewer than one third of workplaces offer volunteering schemes. Carillion believes businesses can play a very real and important role in enabling their employees to have a positive impact on the wider world, through voluntary work, while developing their own skills in the process.  All Carillion employees are entitled to six days paid leave a year to volunteer.

Carillion’s campaign will run until 2030 as part of its commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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