Orbit recognise the social inequality which exists in the UK, as young people with different backgrounds have some disadvantages than others.
A report from the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) this month has found that 62% of people aged 16 to 24 feel the pandemic has made it harder to find high-quality work
For young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, the barriers to securing a sustainable job are even greater.
Orbit see first-hand the social inequality which exists in the UK.
Not only do we have an important part to play in raising awareness and addressing these imbalances, but by providing early careers talent with career progression and development opportunities, we’re helping Orbit to grow as a business and build a diverse workforce.
Orbit’s Work Inspiration Programme was created and launched in 2017 and individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including those in full or part-time employment, school leavers, college and university graduates, people applying via job centre placement schemes, or even people seeking a change of direction later in their careers.
To date, we have recruited five cohorts to the graduate programme and four cohorts to the apprentice programme.
A total of 31 apprentices have been recruited into various roles across the business and 31 graduates have now been recruited to our graduate programme.
Included in the above numbers are a further six graduates to our 2021 programme who formally joined Orbit in September.
We are still recruiting to our apprentice programme although we have now onboarded five apprentices so far.
They’ve all had a significant impact on their respective teams and are quickly integrated as valuable team members who can offer creativity and innovation.
“For young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, the barriers to securing a sustainable job are even greater”
Delivered with the support of accredited training providers, our programme, which was recently shortlisted for a TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Award, provides clear and transparent tailored development plans for each apprentice, mentoring sessions, a ‘buddy’ system and offers a wide range of development activity, including ‘lunch and learn’ sessions and group projects based on real life business problems.
Group projects include challenging business issues, which help to develop problem solving skills, enhance teamwork and give individuals the confidence to be innovative and bring their own ideas to the table.
The 2020 cohort, for example, researched how Orbit could improve recruitment and retention of Generation Z employees and successfully presented their ideas to Orbit’s executive team.
Our future talent team work hard to provide our cohorts with support throughout the programme to ensure they flourish in their roles and careers.
Orbit has individuals who are now at management level, who joined the business through an early career programme, and hopefully these managers will progress to become directors.
We also offer pre-apprenticeship level programmes, including a work-study programme for young people not in education, and the ‘Kickstart Programme’ which helps create new work placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit.
Both opportunities provide a ‘feeder route’ into an Orbit apprenticeship.
Our programme has a big impact on the life chances of those individuals from lower socio-economic groups and provides inspiration to others in the community.
Several individuals have moved on from Universal Credit into a permanent role at Orbit and are progressing continually.
Seeing people blossom through the support, development and nurturing we can provide at Orbit is so rewarding, and when we support the future skills needs of the organisation at the same time, the double win feels fantastic.
We are now working really hard to expand the opportunities for our customers and those in our communities, aligning even further to our mission of ‘Building Thriving Communities’.
Image: Elle Aon / Shutterstock
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