To inspire employers across Greater Manchester to commit to youth-friendly employment principles, Greater Manchester Talent Match is committed to recognising where good practice is already in place.
The Talent Match Mark celebrates outstanding employers who support young people throughout their journey to work.
This month the GPL Group – a civil engineering company based in Salford – received the Talent Match Mark Gold Award.
There to present the award were Rebecca Long Bailey, MP for Salford and Eccles, and Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett.
The Gold level of accreditation acknowledged GPL’s intervention at three stages of the employment journey: they have provided opportunities for local young people to explore the workplace informally; experience the workplace through placements and ultimately, they have provided jobs.
In collaboration with the Broughton Trust, GPL offer up to 30 work placements a year to young people. Often these placements result in candidates being offered a full-time position.
The Broughton Trust are one of the front-line organisations commissioned by GM Talent Match because they intimately understand the challenges faced by young people in their communities.
Martin Gallagher, Director of the GPL Group said: “We recognised after the last recession there were huge skills gaps which were impacting upon our workflow. The father-son entry route to the sector was also disappearing.”
Through their links with Graham Cooper, a GM Talent Match Talent Coach based at the Broughton Trust, Martin discovered that their skills gap could be plugged with local talent.
GPL designed training and apprenticeship programmes whilst The Broughton Trust provided the personalised support that young people with multiple barriers to employment invariably need.
Martin said: “We found an untapped resource that was previously overlooked and have become more ethical as a whole in our approach to employees.
“A business can change lives and give opportunities to the local community, we can't do it all, I'd encourage all business to look to their locality and give young people that employment chance."
"We are delighted and honoured to receive this award for the Civil Engineering sector we work in and more importantly for the team working here at GPL that make this happen, we believe a business should engage local people and involve them in work opportunities wherever possible.”
There to present the award to GPL was Salford City Mayor, Cllr Paul Dennett.
He said: “A big congratulations goes out to GPL on winning the Talent Match Mark, they are making such a positive impact on young people’s lives in this city through apprenticeships, work placement training, skills development and job opportunities.
“Thanks to the values of the company and its leadership, young people are learning new skills and gaining confidence in an environment that is preparing them for future.”
Rebecca Long Bailey, MP for Salford and Eccles and Shadow Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy said: "I am delighted to have such a forward looking and community focused business here in Salford and equally delighted that their hard work and dedication has been recognised.
“It is clear that GPL understands that the true measure of success for any business is not simply to thrive and prosper in itself, but to ensure that the strategic decisions and investments it makes, benefit the people in the community it serves. If more businesses follow GPL's lead by investing in our people then we really would be on our way to an industrial strategy that served the many not the few."
Any Greater Manchester employers who wish to be considered for a Talent Match Mark award can contact Andrew Brookfield on 0161 274 3377 or at firstname.lastname@example.org