Home Business Services Ahead Partnership launch #FinProLCR

Ahead Partnership launch #FinProLCR

Leeds-based social enterprise, Ahead Partnership, has today launched a new Talent Scheme aimed at improving the pipeline of young talent pursuing roles in the Professional and Financial Services sector in Leeds City Region.

#FinProLCR aims to bring together a range of different employers through a calendar of varied and impactful careers activities with schools and colleges, such as speed networking, careers panels, interview practice, assessment centres, live briefs, workplace visits and insight days.

Ahead Partnership has developed the scheme following a period of consultation with businesses working within the Professional and Financial Services sector in Leeds, which highlighted the increasing difficulty faced by businesses to attract the young people needed to fill high-skilled roles. Research conducted by Robert Half Financial Services1 last year found that nearly half (49%) of senior leaders in the financial services sector see finding skilled candidates as the biggest challenge over the next twelve months, demonstrating the importance of both attracting and retaining talented employees within the sector.

The scheme will be designed and delivered by Ahead Partnership and will kick off this summer term with four weeks of collaborative activity in schools across Leeds City Region. The scheme will then develop into a year-round programme of exciting careers and skills activities, from the 2019-2020 academic year onwards.

Employers will be able to create an individual programme of activities as part of the scheme, to meet their own responsible business, diversity and talent objectives, or to collaborate with others on cross-sector activities. Together the activities aim to deliver scale and impact that cannot be achieved individually, bringing together employees and building networks across the sectors.

Stephanie Burras CBE, Chief Executive of Ahead Partnership, said:

“After months of planning and consultation alongside the business community in Leeds it is hugely satisfying to launch the #FinProLCR scheme today.

“This scheme is not intended to displace excellent engagement activities that employers already have underway however, there are some things that the sector can do more effectively if it acts together. We have been running Leeds Primary Education Week for seven years now, which is an extremely popular collaborative project supported by many law firms in Leeds. It has already informed over 5,000 young people about the sector who’ve all since moved through the education system and are now considering careers.

“This new scheme will enable collaborative careers work across all areas of the financial and professional services sectors, allowing employers to raise their appeal amongst young people whilst connecting with a diverse group of potential recruits, something which the sector really needs.”

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment at Leeds City Council, said:

“This new scheme offers a fantastic opportunity for young people and businesses alike, and it is great to see Ahead Partnership working closely with the sector and our educational institutions to tackle the skills challenges we face across Leeds City Region and ensure that opportunity is equally accessible to all. It will not only help our young people gain the valuable skills needed for the world of work but will also help them to see the wide range of opportunities available within these important sectors, right on the doorstep in Leeds.”

The approach will build on the successful activity already underway in schools, colleges and universities through Ahead Partnership and individual employers. A tailored menu of activities will introduce students to opportunities within the sector and help them develop the skills to be effective in their work. By getting involved, employers can also broaden their appeal and present the sector as a diverse, progressive and exciting career choice for young people.

Businesses wanting to find out more about the scheme are invited to attend a follow-on information session about the scheme which is taking place between 07:45 – 09:00 on Wednesday 6th March in Leeds City Centre.