National Employability Day: A reflection on current employment challenges

As I sit here writing this article, I do so in the comforting knowledge that I have a job, I have job security and I am able to pay my bills. There is real privilege in this position which, given my role in ELBA’s Employment and Skills team, I do not take for granted; because on a daily basis I work to support people who can barely afford to put food on their tables. 

Statistics show that as of May 2020, the number of UK employees on payrolls is down by 600,000 from that of March 2020. Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies available in May has fallen to a record low and 7.6m UK jobs are now classified as ‘at risk’, of which 1.7m are in the retail and wholesale sector.

These statistics are extremely worrying and as the full effect of COVID-19 on the UK employment market begins to emerge, the latest reports suggest that a quarter of those furloughed (approximately 20% of the UK’s population) are at risk of losing their jobs. This really highlights the magnitude of the situation and plight of millions across the country. 

So…what can we do? What can be done to try and help those left wondering how they will bounce back? Well, the ELBA Employment & Skills team have been working hard over the last 3 months to extend its offer; supporting hundreds of local people with information, advice and guidance and increasing the level of activity to support new skilling and upskilling to boost resilience in the local population.  

On Friday 26th June, we celebrated National Employability Day by running two engaging and impactful sessions which we wanted to highlight below:

Employability Conference
The session for Employability Day was designed to give specific employability support to those who are worst-affected by the current crisis; an open-session where questions could be submitted prior to the session to therefore receive tailored answers at the event. We utilised the assistance of a number of corporate volunteers who shared their journeys as well as imparting their wisdom, experience, and advice to the audience. 

Investment 20/20 – Investment Management session
We also ran a very insightful virtual session into investment management, understanding the world of finance has great benefits, and this session covered the importance of investment management and its impacts on global society. We were fortunate enough to be joined by industry leaders and senior figures from a variety of financial institutions who discussed their roles, their journey, the priorities and challenges faced in the sector alongside the importance of investment management in today’s society. 

“The session was very insightful, all the speakers gave amazing advice on how to get into the financial industry, I am really pleased I joined and I would like to thank everyone who helped put the session together”.

– Kenneth, participant in Investment Management session.

If you’d like to hear more about the work of the Employment and Skills team please check it out here.

Written by Ian Walker, Project Manager on ELBA’s Employment & Skills team.

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