United Kingdom: Deloitte Employability Initiative
Employability skills help young people realize their true potential
Deloitte United Kingdom has a long-standing focus on education and skills. Since 2001, Deloitte United Kingdom has pioneered an innovative employability skills program, the Deloitte Employability Initiative, for college students. Deloitte United Kingdom has worked with employers, training consultants, further education (FE) colleges, and government organizations to design and deliver a course that provides young people with the personal skills, attitudes, and behaviors they need to secure and sustain employment. These employability skills are not a “nice to have”—both employers and clients agree they are as important as technical skills.
Young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, need help acquiring these skills to secure and sustain employment and realize their potential. FE students on vocational courses need a particular focus on developing their employability skills to help ensure they have every chance to succeed by giving them a path either directly to employment or on to higher education. The Deloitte United Kingdom employability course addresses this skills gap and has enabled hundreds of young people to finish college and secure good jobs with major employers.
The UK firm's Deloitte Employability Initiative reached more than 25,000 young people since its founding in 2001, with nearly 90% going in to education at a higher level or full-time employment. Deloitte United Kingdom has committed £2 million over six years to 2012 to the program. By 2012, the member firm aims to have put 800 FE teachers through a two and a half day residential train-the-trainer course, administered at nine Deloitte Employability Centres. These teachers, in turn, will instruct up to 40,000 students in the employability skills course.
In 2010 Deloitte United Kingdom undertook a strategic review of the Deloitte Employability Initiative and designed a long term sustainable model for the program. Consequently, a joint venture is being established with Pearson, the largest UK awarding body. This relationship will secure the long term future of the program while also increasing the program’s reach and impact. In the long-term, the program will reach a more widespread audience at different education levels, as well as continue to support specialist teachers training.
The Employability Skills Initiative has catalyzed the member firm’s public engagement around the skills gap. Deloitte United Kingdom has been invited to help shape government policy through the UK Commission for Employment and Skills Advisory Panel on Employability. In addition, the initiative has provided opportunities for more than 600 Deloitte professionals to support courses by teaching CV, interview, and presentation skills to young people participating in the program.
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“In the current economic climate, the skills of the UK workforce will be critical to business survival and growth. Challenging global business conditions raise the performance bar for all our people—and the same is true for the businesses we advise and support. Whilst many of our clients are facing tough employment decisions, at the same time they want to be confident that their workforce is well equipped to respond and compete in more difficult markets. Deloitte’s Employability programme plays a special role in ensuring that college leavers entering the workplace are equipped to join the workforce and make an immediate contribution to their employers. We know this matters to our clients and are proud to be playing our part in making this practical difference.”
– John Connolly, John Connolly, Deloitte UK Chief Executive and Senior Partner (June 2007-May 2011)