Boris Backs Call for Businesses To Create Good Jobs


This morning, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, called on businesses in the capital to support a new programme, called The Good Jobs Campaign, which will help 8,000 talented young people from diverse backgrounds access a good jobs opportunity by 2020.

The Good Jobs Campaign, developed by Citizens UK, national community organising charity and founders of the Living Wage Foundation, connects young people with businesses needing talented candidates. In London alone it’s anticipated that by 2020 technology, health, engineering and the creative industries will need at least 1.5 million new recruits, and there’s already 20,000 unfilled vacancies predominantly in the science and technology sectors.

In its first year The Good Jobs campaign will see 500 young people from London state schools and colleges, as well as the 200 Citizens UK member churches, mosques, synagogues and community groups from across London,  receive employability training through a ‘reboot camp’. Good Jobs businesses, supported by Citizens UK, will run a series of business skills workshops to help young people to understand their sector and identify talent. Each young person who goes through this training programme is guaranteed an opportunity to apply for a role with a Good Jobs business where there will be a range of opportunities on offer, from full-time roles with training plans, to apprenticeships and paid work experience placements.

Uniquely through their links with civil society institutions across the capital, Citizens UK will provide each young person with a community based sponsor to help them through their initial training, placement and early days of their career.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:

“The Good Jobs campaign is an excellent initiative that will help young Londoners pursue promising careers in sectors of the economy that are crying out for new talent. More than 40,000 people start an apprenticeship every year in London, more than double the number five years ago, and this new campaign will help thousands more young people get into work.”

The programme has been funded by J.P. Morgan through the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and has already got the backing from leading organisations including Atkins, Herbert Smith Freehills, Omnicom, Barts Health Trust and Decoded. All of these companies are committed to offering placements to Good Jobs trained young people and opening up their recruitment process to the Good Jobs graduates.

Today’s official launch of the campaign with backing from Boris Johnson, aims to increase the number of businesses involved in the campaign, which over the next five years, aims to support at least 8,000 young people into exciting careers and help plug the skills shortage.

Dan Firth, Citizen’s UK said:

“London is an amazing city to live in, but through our work we’ve seen that despite huge growth in the science, technology and creative industries, the communities that sit alongside these new businesses aren’t benefitting from their development.

“It really is a tale of two cities in some areas of the capital. The skills shortage is in fact an opportunity shortage that impacts on both business and youth. Young people we work with simply don’t have access or understanding of the wealth of opportunities on their doorstep. That’s where we step in and make the introductions. Connections help, everyone knows that, and we can be the little black book of contacts for kids, who, through no fault of their own, wouldn’t otherwise know anyone who works in these sectors.

“Many young people we work with have a good set of qualifications, but don’t have the confidence or connections to secure that early break into a good career. Others haven’t shone in the traditional education system but are really bright and committed. This programme identifies them, gets them ready for the world of work, supports them, and gives them a break with a set of fantastic employers. It’s still up to them to work hard and prove themselves.”

The Good Jobs Campaign has been funded by J.P. Morgan through the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

Ina De, Co-Head of UK Banking, J.P. Morgan said:

“As an employer ourselves, we recognise the need to nurture and support a broad pool of talented individuals to help them achieve their potential, because ultimately diversity is our strength. Therefore, we are delighted to be supporting Citizens UK and the Good Jobs Campaign through our Foundation to help young people access jobs in the key growth sectors of London.”

The Campaign has grown out of a number of individual programmes Citizens UK has developed with employers, including global engineering company Atkins.

Allan Cook, chair, Atkins, said:

“Not every young person knows what their career path will be and the choice can be more challenging if you aren’t even sure of the type of roles out there on offer!

“Our partnership with Citizens UK has worked well for Atkins as we have been introduced to brilliant young people that perhaps wouldn’t otherwise have considered engineering as a career. We give them the opportunity to understand the world of engineering and in return we get to know them as individuals before offering them more formal placements. It’s a win-win situation!

“I’m proud to say that I started my career in engineering as an electrical apprentice. This route has given me a great insight into how you can progress by learning on the job, and choosing an alternative to the traditional university path. I’m sure nationally there are many others like me who look back and are grateful to those who saw their spark and passion as a young person and nurtured and guided them in their first role. Pathways to Engineering is our chance to inspire and encourage others into the profession and give young people an opportunity to prove themselves as engineers.”

The Good Jobs model is a tried and tested formula that has already secured young people on the path to great careers.

Sanna Shabir, 20, Leyton, East London said:

“A year ago I was feeling pretty bleak about the future. I wasn’t pleased with my A level results and thought I would have to get a job in a shop whilst I decided what to do next. Now, thanks to the scheme with Atkins and Citizens UK I’ve got an exciting future. I’ve secured myself a full time apprenticeship with Atkins to become a Civil Engineer, a job I’d never even considered before, and have already learnt so much.

“I’ve been lucky; the Good Jobs campaign helped me when I was feeling unsure of what to do next. I hope many more employers will give more young people like me an insight into their industry and a break to prove they are up to the job.”

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