The pandemic has dramatically reduced young people’s access to jobs, training and education. Partnerships between schools/universities and the private sector can help smooth the transition from education to the workplace, and ensure young people have the right skills to progress in their chosen career. Work programmes, be they skills academies, apprenticeships or training opportunities can all benefit from this approach, ensuring that both the voices of employers and young people are considered, increasing their effectiveness.
The IEP continues to work on supporting all young people into education, employment or training. We are currently focussed on enabling our existing work experience ambitions, led by Movement to Work, to adapt to current circumstances, including virtual work experience; and enabling different parts of Government and the public sector to come together effectively to map young people’s journeys and support their needs as they navigate their pathway to fulfilling and secure employment. As we recover from COVID-19, we are also supporting the Governments’ ongoing Plan for Jobs.
There is remarkable innovation and invention being led by local and regional leaders across the country. Too often the impact of this work is stymied by a lack of resources. Meanwhile, nationally-focused networks, often rooted in London, hold significant resources but without the connections in particular places to clearly understand the wants and needs of the communities living within them. More intentional connections between local leadership and national networks would help to increase the pace and scale of change.
The IEP is exploring what role it can play in supporting leaders in local places to access the resources they need in order to effect meaningful change. We are keen to better understand the role we can play in bridging the gap between national resources -including, but not limited to those marshalled through the IEP - and the expertise, energy and leadership in places across the country.
An individual’s race, gender, sexual orientation or class should not be a barrier to a fulfilling life and career. Organisations that prioritise diversity can amplify their learnings by working in partnership with other companies and departments, sharing insights, and create a code of best-practice that will help other organisations follow suit. These partnerships should be formed between organisations from academia, the private and third sectors, and within Government if we are to successfully tackle this issue. Diversity education and empowerment programmes must be available from school age through to those operating at senior management level.
The IEP will expand its partnerships into 2021 and beyond, looking at all angles of inequality to tackle this issue. Furthermore, we will ensure that any of our programmes supporting young people into the workplace - or organisations that we work with - place diversity, equity, and inclusion at the centre.
The current crisis has severely affected the mental health of many, especially those who are isolated or vulnerable. The most successful initiatives tackling this issue have been cross-sector partnerships, sharing resource and learnings to provide support and advice for the most vulnerable people in society. Education is key if the UK is to help raise awareness and build resilience amongst those facing mental health challenges.
The IEP is advancing the role of business in positively impacting the mental health of society, starting with that of their employees. We are driving corporate commitment and best practice by ameliorating and amplifying the Mental Health at Work website, which brings together resources, toolkits, blogs and case studies. Additionally, we are developing HR best practices, in collaboration with business, civil society and Government, for supporting employee wellbeing and managing employee performance.
The climate change crisis remains a priority for Britain, and any economic recovery must have sustainability at its heart. This is not a simple challenge to address and will require a united effort from multiple stakeholders across the UK economy. It is only by working together, and tackling multiple issues at once – such as next-generation skills, renewable energy sources and energy-efficient housing – that we can pave the way to a greener future.
The IEP is committed to ensuring that all of our activity has sustainability at its heart and creates partnerships that will tackle the climate change crisis. For example, we have connected MyKindaFuture and National Grid to roll out a pioneering STEM skills outreach programme, to lead the way to net zero. Moreover, our next scale-up programme will work with organisations that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability.
In an increasingly digital world, everyone must have access to hardware, broadband and digital skills. It is only by working in partnership that the private, public and third sectors can adequately address the complex and diverse needs of local communities, ensuring the right tech gets into the hands that need it most. Through collaborations of this nature, the third sector, businesses and the Government can work together to bridge the UK’s digital divide, and increase the awareness of all available digital inclusion programmes.
The IEP is exploring what role it can play in catalysing a new partnership around addressing the digital divide, including how best to build on and complement efforts already being undertaken. To do this, we will work with both current champion organisations as well as new partners.