Employers struggling to fill their skills shortages are being encouraged to tap into diverse pools of talent, including those who are disabled, have prior criminal convictions and younger and older workers. Business in the Community (BITC), the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, is leading the campaign which, as well as filling vacancies will also encourage disadvantaged jobseekers into the workplace.
The Opening Doors campaign aims to make two million jobs more inclusive by 2025, by ensuring that employers work with a wider pool of diverse and disadvantaged jobseekers. The campaign’s five-point plan calls for employers to:
- Create partnerships which connect people from disadvantaged groups to your jobs
- Show candidates that you’re committed to inclusion
- Make sure job descriptions and adverts are comprehensive and use inclusive language
- Focus on the essential skills and capabilities that are needed to do the job
- Prioritise accessibility and eliminate bias
Separately, new research suggests many businesses would be keen to recruit refugees, but are unsure how to go about it. While a majority (62%) say they are open to hiring refugees – and 51% say they are likely to hire a refugee in the next year – nearly half (40%) say they would need additional support, according to professional services firm Grant Thornton.
Matthew Powell, CEO and founder of refugee employment charity Breaking Barriers said: “Recruiting refugees addresses skills gaps at every level of employment due to the diverse range of talent and potential in the refugee community. Almost half (47%) of the charity’s clients last year had completed higher education; 40% had good to advanced English; and 57% had four years or more of work experience.”