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Diverse talent for future success

Sparta Global's Equal Tech Report - looking into the impact of Covid-19 on youth employablility - was developed in partnership with social mobility charity, Career Ready. To mark this collaboration, Career Ready CEO, Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, writes about the organisation's deep-rooted commitment to empowering diverse talent for future success...

In the post-Covid era, it is more important than ever for employers to invest in young talent, especially those from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.

It is one of the biggest steps we can take to future-proof our businesses. By embedding inclusivity and social mobility within our talent strategies, we can open ourselves up to talent pools who will provide us with new, diverse ways of thinking as well as represent all our stakeholders and customers.

Moreover, there’s never been a more critical time for employers to find new ways of engaging and supporting young talent.

Generation Covid

Young people have always faced hurdles, but Covid presents new challenges and an increased urgency to overcome them.

As this new research by Sparta Global highlights, the “Covid-19 crisis impacted junior recruitment, with most talent attraction and onboarding initiatives – including graduate programmes, internships, and work experience opportunities – halted or significantly reduced.” 

Now that the world is opening back up, it is imperative we find ways to change this, giving young people the opportunities they need to kickstart their careers and ensuring we as employers have the talent we need for future success.

How to invest in young talent

The evidence on what works when it comes to building inclusive workplace and engaging with young talent is already out there.

First, at Career Ready, our research and experience show that a mentor and paid internship combination acts as rocket fuel for social mobility and are an effective way for employers to attract young people, with 81% of internship supervisors saying they would hire a Career Ready student.

Crucially, by providing mentoring and internships to young people aged 16-18 who are still in compulsory education, employers can also engage with them at a crucial early crossroads in their career journey. Causing a bigger impact on skill development and aspirations, alongside showcasing their organisation as an employer of choice for young people.

Second, embedding mentoring and social mobility champions in the workplace can be a gamechanger in terms of retaining diverse talent and allowing people the opportunity to thrive whatever their background.

The challenge of social mobility and inclusivity is not solved as soon as someone secures their role within a company, as an individual’s background is often a limiting factor on their workplace progression. It’s important, therefore, to ensure we build workplace cultures and networks that allow everyone to feel supported and valued.

And, finally, employers can have a positive impact on diverse recruitment and retention by ensuring vacancies and promotions are equally accessible to all. This could include offering more routes that do not require a degree, such as apprenticeships and school leaver schemes, as well as using blind recruitment processes such as hiding applicants’ names, educational institutions, or other personal details.

At Career Ready, we’re here to help employers implement these steps so if you would like to future-proof your business and transform young lives then please get in touch. Together, see we can invest in young talent and create a better, fairer world of work.