Bridge the skills gap

By David Sharpe, corporate finance director, Pierce.

With employers in England spending less on training than a decade ago and national concerns about a post-Brexit skills gap, businesses must act now to build the future workforce.

In Lancashire, the number of 16 to 18-yearold NEETS (not in Education, Employment or Training) is 4.8 per cent - above the national rate of 4.2 per cent. It’s even higher in Blackburn with Darwen at 5.7 per cent.

Pierce is proud to be playing a part in bridging the gap between education and employment. Along with local organisations spanning sectors including manufacturing, engineering, finance, entertainment and leisure, Pierce employees volunteer to help the Hive Business School inspire the next generation of skilled workers.

The Hive Business School is supported by a range of experienced, high calibre volunteers who serve as enterprise advisors to Lancashire schools and colleges.

Through the initiative, Pierce has partnered with Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Blackburn. We’re helping prepare pupils for the world of work by ensuring they have the right skills and attitudes to match the requirements of Lancashire businesses.

We are not trying to shoe horn young people into our industry of accountancy, although it is a career with a great deal to offer. Instead we help young people understand the region’s wider employment base and the careers available to them.

Not only schools and students benefit from The Hive. Improving skills and education is something we should strive to do throughout our careers.

The Hive Ambassadors Network is a great way to get to know more about the work done by The Hive.

It brings together businesses and individuals from the region to share their knowledge, networks, passion and determination with the ultimate aim of putting the region on the business map. Get in touch if you’d like to get involved.