With Prime Minister David Cameron stating that young people should not be allowed to leave school at 16 without a very clear career path in mind, and in a bid to battle the precarious economic climate and tackle youth unemployment, ISS UK has joined forces with Business in the Community (BITC) to bring the Facilities Management sector together to take a stand against youth unemployment.
Richard Sykes hosted a breakfast at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) for Facilities Management sector CEOs to make their pledge. The goal, to unite the FM industry and through individual company pledges, create new and extensive opportunities for young people in the UK.
The event, which was also supported by Asset Skills, BSA, FMA, BIFM and Lord Aberdare, saw ISS, together with a number of other leading FM companies, pledge their combined contribution of apprenticeships and work experience placements across the UK by 2015.
Richard Sykes, CEO of ISS, which is the fourth largest employer globally, has already pledged to take on 750 apprentices and 1,000 work experience candidates throughout the country by 2015. Sykes explains:
“This is one of the first times businesses in our sector have held hands, placed our competitiveness to one side and taken decisive action to demonstrate the positive impact Facilities Management can have in the UK economy. Our industry is ideally suited to help bridge the gap between education and the workplace and we have a multitude of career paths that can be followed. Pledging this support shows the commitment and drive we have in supporting the younger generation even during these difficult economic times.”
Graham Bann, executive director, Talent & Skills at BITC said:
“At BITC we ask and support businesses to improve the opportunities on offer to young people ensuring that they have fair access to jobs that will lead to a career with longevity and potential. We are already working with ISS on BITC’s Talent & Skills campaign and are delighted to have joined forces with them on this initiative to tackle youth unemployment.”
Rachel Harrison is an ISS business administration apprentice who is based at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospital. She says: “As well as broadening your skills, apprenticeships help your progress within the company when an opportunity arises.”