Creating an on-ramp to employability & removing barriers to work for our young people and returners.
Our very first employee at SP&C was Abigail who has Asperger’s Syndrome. She has settled into her role very well, and is real asset to the organisation and a key contributor to SP&C’s and our clients’ risk mitigation. Without doubt though, it is us who have learned the most. Abigail is helping us to understand the barriers to work faced by others, whether that’s down to socio-economic disadvantages, disabilities or returners that have had a career break.
For young people our mission is to create 30 apprenticeships for 16-24 year-olds by 2023. It’s rare to find an apprenticeship that requires no formal qualifications to entry but this is exactly what we want to offer. Nor do young people have to study formal qualifications during their apprenticeship. Instead, we’re working closely with Skills Development Scotland to innovative alternative ways of supporting and measuring progress. Of course, we’re supporting and mentoring apprentices who want to do an SVQ but it’s not a required condition. They don’t have to complete the full two years. This is how we’re removing barriers so that anyone, from any background, can access the apprenticeships.
After launching the technical apprenticeship in printers and copiers, SP&C will expand their apprenticeships to include skills and knowledge in areas such as business administration, digital marketing and cyber security. Work readiness training will improve their confidence so that they can set their own aspirations and equip them with communication and transferrable soft skills that will help in other careers. Armed with an insight to the Third Sector they’ll be able to move to other social enterprises or charities.
But, what next, after the two-year apprenticeship? Our plan is to offer at least half the apprentices full-time, permanent jobs as the business grows, and to support the rest into employment with partner organisations or on to other employment pathways.
We would love to offer work experience to 14-16 year-olds as well in the longer term.
Everyone has the right to work; we’re passionate about our contribution to employability. We’ve signed up to Scotland’s Young Person’s Guarantee. It connects every 16 to 24 year old in Scotland to the opportunity of a job, placement, training or volunteering with employers committed to the Guarantee.
SP&C’s fulfilment printing service (The Copy Shop) will provide a training platform for women returning to work after a career break, who wish to retrain in the field of digital design and fulfilment print delivery.
Finally, we believe that a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. As an accredited Living Wage employer we seek to pay a fair wage for all employees across all age groups, including the apprentices.
Our promise to young people:
offering openness to employability
(with no barriers)