While the UK’s overall unemployment rate is moving in the right direction, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high - standing at over 15 per cent of 16 - 24 year olds.
In a pledge to remove barriers preventing the unemployed from accessing opportunities, Doosan Babcock and other members of the Sellafield supply chain will be providing employability master classes to local people offering key skills such as CV writing, interview practice and how best to present themselves.
Doosan Babcock will also be offering work experience and mentoring in an attempt to open the eyes of West Cumbria’s young people and introduce them to the wide-ranging opportunities a career in the engineering sector could offer.
Research commissioned by Doosan Babcock* last year found that 83% of young people have never considered an energy-related job, despite nearly a third of them intending to study STEM subjects at university. 34% of young people wished that both businesses and schools would do more to provide them with information about the sector, with a quarter saying they’d be more likely to consider such a career if they simply knew more about it.
`West Cumbria Works’ is a new employment brokerage service established by Sellafield Ltd. The online platform will help match unemployed West Cumbrians with opportunities at Sellafield Ltd and across the entire supply chain.
Through this initiative, Doosan Babcock will play a key role in widening Sellafield’s recruitment net, enabling them to broaden the range of skills at their disposal. This investment in the local workforce will improve the skills base and make west Cumbria more attractive to major employers.
This is one of many strands of work being delivered by Doosan Babcock to boost local communities. To support skills development the company has appointed over 200 of its employees as STEM Ambassadors. These Ambassadors attend schools, universities and events throughout the UK to promote STEM education and careers to younger generations. The company has also trained over 500 apprentices in the past six years to help address the growing engineering skills gap in Britain; in 2014, bucking industry-wide trends, the company was successful in attracting three times more female engineering apprentices (9%) than the national average (3%). This work has never been more important. Just 9% of girls have considered a career in the energy sector, compared to 20% of boys.
The company also continues to serve the communities local to its operations through its CSR initiatives, including the Doosan Day of Community Service, which takes place twice a year. In March, this global initiative saw more than 10,000 Doosan Group employees from 158 business sites in 16 countries participate in charitable activities in their communities. More recently, Doosan Babcock donated £4,500 to enable the Glasgow Gymnastics Club to compete in the Special Olympic World Games this summer.
John Bann, Operations Manager at Doosan Babcock said:“Despite the economy improving and the overall unemployment rate going down, there are still far too many young people in the UK that are not in education, employment or training. We simply cannot expect people to get into work if they are not being taught the vital basics they need to get a foot in the door.
“Doosan Babcock is incredibly proud to be a part of the ‘West Cumbria Works’ initiative and it is great to see the industry coming together to help tackle unemployment. We will be working closely with Sellafield to encourage organisations throughout the energy supply chain to invest in the future of young people and help inspire the next generation into fulfilling careers.”
Andrew Hunt, CEO of Doosan Babcock, said:“The energy sector clearly needs to work much harder to attract young UK talent and overcome the perception that the industry lacks excitement and creativity. Engineering businesses working in the energy sector must play their part, engage with as many young people as possible and highlight the vast number of rewarding careers the sector has to offer them.”