Education, Enterprise, Skills & Employability: what you do

Brum Youth Trends


Young people are looking for ‘jobs for living over jobs for life’; this was one of the main findings around education, enterprise, skills and employment in this year’s Brum Youth Trends report by our partner, Beatfreeks. It seems that when it comes to careers, young people like the thought of being in the middle ground - most don’t want to do something for their whole life, but equally jumping from job to job doesn’t create the stability they desire.

Developing the right skills through from education to employment

FlashAcademy® knows how to make education more flexible and fun, working with schools, colleges, the unemployed sector and employers. CEO and customer at Innovation Birmingham, Veejay Lingiah spoke to us about how businesses can help young people reach their potential. “Skills shortages are a concerning barrier for economic growth in Birmingham and, as the youngest city in Europe, the right skills need to be a key focus from school right through to the workplace.”

“We need to clearly understand the range of skills gaps and have a coordinated approach to innovating around these - helping to create more opportunities and catalyse the city’s economic growth,” explains Veejay. “A key part of stimulating and sustaining this movement will be the correct use of appropriate funding in the region.”

To help the city grow economically, we need to be enabling people in Birmingham to reach their full potential. “Academia shouldn’t simply prepare our young people for exams, but they must increasingly prepare them for life and a rapidly changing employment sector,” says Veejay. This is something that Bruntwood’s CEO, Chris Oglesby agrees with, “jobs are going to be changing incrementally all the time. It's really important that we invest in skills through standard education channels, but that we're also investing in really good upskilling through the business as well.”

Adapting skills

As the skills needed for modern jobs change so frequently, it’s important that we’re able to learn and adapt core skills such as communication, teamwork and creative thinking. “More than ever, we need people that have a strong ability to learn new skills quickly and unlearn old ones, so even the ‘art of independent learning’ is a core skill that needs to be embedded into the DNA of our education system,” says Veejay.

Matt Jones, Founder and Managing Director of Oxbridge, also based at Innovation Birmingham, goes on to say, “With over 18,000 start-ups launching in Birmingham last year, we need more business owners to step up and offer apprenticeships, internships and onsite training.” Through investing in their staff, businesses are able to truly allow people to develop and reach their potential. “We’re setting achievable challenges that lead to real-world results and better prepare people to enter the workplace.”

Matt also speaks of the benefits of providing mentoring to young people. “As a mentor myself, the benefits to young people are not only advantageous, but also empowering,” he explains. “I have been able to relay my experiences, good and bad, to guide young people in the right direction, nurturing their development, confidence and interpersonal skills to better prepare them to navigate the professional world.”

“Businesses have a clear responsibility to work closely with the education sector to create opportunities for visibility, interaction and connection

Bruntwood’s commitment to education, enterprise, skills and employability

We believe in unlocking the true potential in people. Through both our business, and our work with partner organisations, we aim to support the creation of jobs that have a long lasting and positive impact on people and our communities.

A job may not be for life anymore, but the skills we can support young people to grow are. It is these skills that we believe will lead Birmingham to be an attractive city for young people to stay, work and live in. The Brum Youth Trends report pays particular attention to apprenticeships. This came as no surprise to us, with apprenticeships opening up the business world to a young people, giving them the opportunity to develop real life skills that help to shape their varying career paths.

While apprenticeships aren’t the standard route into the property world, we’re committing to providing new, varying and more accessible routes into our industry, including through apprenticeship schemes. To create a successful business, that is flexible, relevant and adaptable, we know we need to be challenged by others and challenge ourselves by searching for talent in a wider pool. Bruntwood will continue to support the creation of apprenticeships across the business as a route into the various roles we have, ranging from IT, to surveying, electricians to project managers, plumbers and HR business partners.

Next up in our Brum Youth Trends series…
Next week, we’re speaking to our Director of Strategy, Jessica Bowles about how businesses, the public and private sector, and our communities can make housing, transport and support services work better for young people in Birmingham.

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