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Intequal head urges businesses to embrace PM’s planned educational shake-up

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Intequal (@IntequalLTD) head urges businesses to embrace PM’s planned educational shake-up

The managing director of a leading IT and digital apprenticeships provider has challenged employers to consider how Boris Johnson’s planned ‘radical shake-up’ of the UK’s education system can help them shape their new talent pipeline.

Speaking following this week’s announcement, Dominic Gill, of Intequal, said that he was encouraged to hear the Prime Minister redressing the balance between vocational and academic routes.

And he urged employers to consider how they can factor apprentice-level entry points into their businesses in a way that supports growth but also taps into the local talent pool.

But he acknowledged that certain challenges remain, especially when it comes to the attraction and recruitment of new employees into a system that has long favoured those with an academic qualification.

“The comments from the Prime Minister this week are definitely a positive step in the right direction,” Gill said.

“By persisting with this notion that the vocational route is in some way inferior to the academic one, we are inevitably closing doors to talent of all ages but especially young people, just at a time when we need to be focussing on helping people back into work.

“We need an approach which helps potential candidates, including school-leavers and their parents, and employers to fully understand the benefits of apprenticeships and how best to attract the most appropriate talent to them.

“UK employers, and especially SMEs, need to think about how they recruit new talent from their local workforce into early in careers positions, especially into new sectors such as Digital. How can they make these jobs attractive to a new generation who may be able to bring significant new skills and diversity to their businesses?

“Considering core behaviours and competencies, rather than technical skills or academic qualifications, is vitally important when considering how to attract new talent. As is understanding the language used when advertising. The use of gender-neutral language, for example, or considering what recruitment criteria is really essential for a role are two examples of how employers can make their apprenticeship recruitment process more appealing to a wider potential workforce.

“Small adjustments to how we approach recruitment of new staff such as apprentices could help support the post-pandemic recovery of UK towns and cities and set up our businesses for success following a challenging year.”

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