//City Region in major drive to tackle skills gap

Published 31st January 2018 at 5:24pm

A major drive has been launched to tackle the skills gap in the Sheffield City Region (SCR), as over £1million was pumped into higher level skills facilities locally this week, and just a week later a leading forum of employers and jobhunters meet to look at innovative ways to tackle the problem.

The forum will discuss a report on the in-depth SCR survey of 500 bosses and jobhunters last Autumn in which young jobhunters said they would take a pay cut in return for getting skills training and experience in their first post.

A previous study in 2015 found that 2,345 employers in the City Region had a vacancy that they considered ‘hard to fill’ and were struggling to fill for a range of reasons including the skills required.

Almost 7,000 learners and 430 businesses have subsequently benefited from learning new skills through the flagship SCR skill programme.

Now employers and jobseekers are invited to join the forum next week, Wednesday 7 February, at the Technology Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham. To register for this free event go to http://bit.ly/2E0c0xw.

To download the report into the survey’s findings visit http://bit.ly/2DOme4V.

Meanwhile, Denise Crisell who is the relationship manager at Sheffield-based independent charity, Cavendish Cancer Care, described how important it is for employers to look closely at the skills on offer from more experienced candidates. Cavendish caters for the emotional and psychological needs of those living with cancer and their families.

Denise Crisell, seen with Cavendish Director of Fundraising Jason Briggs, was made redundant after nearly 15 years working in business development in the financial world, and found the process of getting a job very disheartening. “I made it through to the interview stage for several jobs only to be told I didn’t have the exact skills and background that they were looking for. I am just delighted that Cavendish looked in more depth and saw that I had the necessary skills to become a relationship manager for them.

“I love the job and I’ve had to learn about a very different world from my previous employment. So I’d say to any employer please look beyond the day-to-day background of a candidate and think about why the skills they have acquired makes them a good potential employee.

“I’d advise job-hunters not to be afraid to explore new worlds even if they have specialised in a particular sector.”

Dr Lisa Clarke, the SCR’s Senior Economic Policy Manager who led the report, said: “This is a really useful report which should help employers with hard-to-fill vacancies and jobseekers applying for positions. It makes it very clear where adjustments could be made that would encourage people to stay in this region.

“I hope the SCR can encourage co-operation on areas that will benefit both jobseekers and employers – work experience, career progression, people management skills, training for senior positions, and technical and soft skills.

Notes to Editors

  • The report feeds into the SCR Local Enterprise Partnership Skills and Investment Plan.
  • The expert panel includes Ruth Adams, Deputy MD of Sheffield City Region; Lisa Pogson, MD of Airmaster and President of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber; Rebecca Fielding, Grad Consult and the RISE Program at Sheffield Hallam University; Martin McKervey, a partner in CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, and a member of the SCR’s Local Enterprise Board; Carol Stansfield of Sheffield Hallam University; and Karen Challis, Director of KCC Ltd and Strategic Lead (CEIAG) for SCR.
  • Details of the £1.2million grants for skills facilities are at: http://bit.ly/2DJh1au.
  • The SCR survey was conducted by Benchmark Recruit of Sheffield.