Balfour Beatty today joins the Government’s Kickstart scheme to offer over 70 work placements to 16 to 24-year-olds at risk of long-term unemployment. Today’s announcement further supports the company’s ongoing commitment to young people and inspiring a new generation of talent within the construction and infrastructure industry.
In partnership with The Prince’s Trust – a youth charity helping young people get into jobs, education and training – Balfour Beatty will offer six-month work placements from April 2021.The programme is being delivered as part of The Prince’s Trust Coalition for the Built Environment scheme, comprised of six companies from the construction and infrastructure sector which aims to bridge the skills gap present within the industry.
On completion, Balfour Beatty aims to transfer Kickstart participants to the Balfour Beatty Apprenticeship Scheme.
Balfour Beatty has long been committed to youth employment, having joined The 5% Club- a dynamic movement of employers committed to ‘earn & learn’ roles as part of ensuring Britain’s social mobility and shared prosperity - in 2014. This commitment to social mobility is further demonstrated by the business’ support of The Social Mobility Pledge, to which it became a signatory in 2020.
Most recently, Balfour Beatty made a pledge to further support young people by increasing the number of apprentices, graduates and trainees recruited across the business by 30% in 2020 and currently has over 6% of employees in Earn and Learn positions, up from 5.4% in 2019 and exceeding The 5% Club goal.
Paul Raby, Balfour Beatty Group Human Resources Director, said: “As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more critical time to open our doors to provide employment opportunities for young people - supporting them in building skilled careers is essential both for our industry and to help us to sustainably rebuild our economy and society.
“As we support this new Government initiative, we are pleased to be working with The Prince’s Trust to expand opportunities to young people and leave a lasting, positive impact on those who work with us.”
Ben Marson, Director of Partnerships at The Prince’s Trust, said: “The Prince’s Trust has 45 years of experience in supporting young people into jobs and we are delighted to be working with organisations such as Balfour Beatty to help ensure the Kickstart scheme sets young people up for success during this challenging time.
“Right now, we need businesses, government and individuals to work with us to help those young people who need us most. By bringing together organisations in the built environment sector to create an innovative coalition we are opening up opportunities for young people and helping them to realise their potential.”
Balfour Beatty’s commitment to attracting, developing and retaining talent forms part of its newly launched sustainability strategy, Building New Futures, in which it aims to positively impact more than one million people by 2040 through increased employment and training opportunities as well as social mobility.