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ISS takes action on unemployment in facilities management

Richard Sykes

Richard Sykes, Chief Executive, ISS UK and Ireland, said: “The Generation Talent questionnaire will allow all companies in the sector to ensure their recruitment processes do not exclude people who are unemployed from being considered for jobs or apprenticeships.”

ISS has joined a nationwide commitment to make 25,000 jobs available to unemployed people. In a drive to improve the recruitment of unemployed people within the facilities management sector, the global facilities and support services firm has joined a group of like-minded organisations* that have spearheaded the ‘Generation Talent’ initiative.

Last Friday (15 November) Business in the Community (BITC), the charity that champions responsible business, launched the new national programme to help businesses scale up the number of unemployed people they recruit. The ‘Generation Talent’ initiative is driven by a consortium of 15 champion businesses*: ASDA, BBC, City & Guilds, Compass, CIPD, Costain, Direct Line, ISS, Jaguar Land Rover, ManpowerGroup, Midland Heart, Morgan Sindall, National Grid, Pertemps, and Whitbread, and has 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 a portion of entry level staff, automatically cutting off many people from even knowing the job is advertised. For these people, the Jobcentre Plus is often their primary route to employment. 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.

The Generation Talent initiative enables businesses to review their recruitment processes allowing them to focus on expanding the number of unemployed people, especially young people, they recruit. By completing the  ‘Generation Talent Self-Assessment Tool’ questionnaire they can help managers involved in recruitment identify and tackle any internal bias towards unemployed people during recruitment. The process allows them to: find out if current recruitment processes automatically sift unemployed applicants out; reassess what qualifications and experience are really needed for entry level roles and instead emphasise importance of aptitude and attitude during recruitment, and advertise roles through the Jobcentre Plus, which currently has 2.47 million people seeking employment and offers a bespoke account management service that centralises an organisation’s regional and national recruitment needs.

Richard Sykes, Chief Executive, ISS UK and Ireland, and member of the BITC Talent and Skills Leadership Team, said:

“The facilities management (FM) sector can offer a wide range of jobs for unemployed people. We are in a unique position to bring young unemployed people into roles which can provide a lifetime of employment. The Generation Talent questionnaire will allow all companies in the sector to ensure their recruitment processes do not exclude people who are unemployed from being considered for jobs or apprenticeships.”

Generation Talent is a joint initiative between BITC and The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Esther McVey, minister for employment, said:

“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.”

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.”

To take the ‘Generation Talent Self-Assessment Tool’ test or sign up to Generation Talent please log on to: www.bitc.org.uk/programmes/generation-talent

 

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