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Deloitte launches Employability Skills Pledge

Deloitte, the accounting and consulting giant, urged employers to support its pledge to guarantee job interviews for graduates of its Employability Skills scheme today.

The Employability Skills Pledge was launched in London this morning, and Delotte is calling on major employers to sign up to its initiative to help ease the effects of the recession. The event was joined by senior business leaders, government and education providers, who have already offered their support.

David Cruickshank, Chairman of Deloitte, said: "This event is a call to action for business and government to work together to provide opportunities for talent to thrive in employment and together have a major and long-lasting impact on the skills of the UK Workforce. Deloitte are looking for major employers to pledge to help us champion this type of training and, where suitable vacancies exist, to provide interview opportunities to young people who have completed employability courses."

Mr Cruickshank added: "Deloitte’s own Employability Initiative 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 we are proud to be playing our part in making this practical difference. We have already engaged more than 30 clients in providing work placements to young people and are lobbying others to pledge their support."

The Employability Initiative aims to train a total of 800 teachers to deliver employability courses, reaching 40,000 students across the UK. To date, Deloitte has invested 2.6 million pounds into the scheme, with a further 1.2 million pounds marked for 2012.

Also speaking at the launch, Skills Minister Lord Young said: "Employability skills are critical for people to succeed at work, especially in the current economic climate, and I welcome the Deloitte Employability Initiative and their commitment to investing in young people’s skills through practical learning.

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"Improving the nation’s skills is at the heart of the Government’s agenda to ensure that the UK is able to compete in the global economy. That’s why we are supporting businesses to look to the long term and continue to train their staff through our Apprenticeships programme and flagship Train to Gain service."

Sir Mike Rake, chairman of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, commented: "Employability skills are a major issue for business and the UK economy. We can’t afford to educate our young people without giving them the personal, management and communication skills they need to be effective in the workplace. It is vital that business, education and government find ways to work together and find solutions to this issue.

"The Deloitte Employability Initiative is an excellent example of what can be achieved and the difference this can make to the lives and employment prospects of young people. We need more businesses to take this lead if we are to meet the skills challenges of the modern economy."

John Connolly, chief executive of Deloitte, added: "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."

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