BUSINESSNEWS ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM STEVE DAVIS Six Time World Snooker Champion Steve Davis helped Oldham-based AWC Windows & Home Improvements celebrate its 35th anniversary recently, with an open weekend at the Saddleworth Summer Show. The Network VEKA member, which is a major partner of the show, brought Steve (Network VEKA’s Brand Ambassador) along with them, and he took on all-comers in a marathon Charity Pool Challenge. Director Michael Griffiths explains: “Steve was a great pull for the show, and his appearance gave the audience a chance to play him in a game of pool, for donations in aid of Doctor Kershaw’s Hospice. “This was a fantastic way to celebrate our 35th anniversary, and the weekend was a great success for us, with sales of £42,000 from leads taken at the show and many more over the forthcoming months no doubt. “We want to say a massive thanks for Network VEKA for all their help and input in organising a very memorable anniversary for AWC. We used Network VEKA’s exhibition trailer for the show, which was a huge advantage for us, as it allowed us to clearly and professionally demonstrate our products and services to the visitors of the show.” Network VEKA, 01282 473170, www.networkveka.co.uk EMPLOYERS FAIL TO MAKE THE GRADE IN YOUTH ENGAGEMENT The CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, has revealed how few employers are stepping up efforts to reduce youth unemployment. According to the CIPD/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey 2013, less than a third (29%) of employers are taking on more people aged 16-24, despite the upturn in the jobs market. Commenting, on the eve of the exams results, Peter Cheese, Chief Executive at the CIPD, said: “CIPD research has shown that many young people fear that they will struggle to ‘Business has a key role to play in developing our young people’ find jobs and establish their future careers. Last week’s employment figures also highlighted that, while overall unemployment went down, youth unemployment is on the rise. There are some great examples of employers who are seeking to address this trend by implementing youth engagement strategies, creating apprenticeship opportunities or school leaver programmes. These organisations should be congratulated for their great work. However, there remains a significant proportion of employers who are not doing enough to engage with young people to help them to build the work skills they will need, and at the same time to build the future workforce their organisations need. Business has a key role to play in developing our young people in order to bridge employability gaps and skills mismatches. We cannot simply expect governments or education systems to churn out off-the-shelf employees.” GCSE CHANGE MUST EQUIP STUDENTS WITH THE RIGHT SKILLS FOR THE WORKPLACE The planned overhaul of GCSE exams needs to help young people get the right skills for the workplace say small business owners. Recent research suggests five in 10 small firms believe young people lack a good attitude to work as well as other skills such as problem solving. The Government consultation on GCSE reform has now closed and the Federation of Small 80 OCT 2013 Businesses (FSB) believes it is vital that changes do not just focus on grades alone. Employers need the staff of the future to have much wider skills, such as communication, problem solving and a good attitude to work. Further research by the FSB suggests small firms believe numeracy (37%) and literacy (41%) are skills lacking in young people. The FSB suggests the Government should consider a pass/fail exam for these functional skills giving employers a clearer understanding of ability. Indeed there must be more time in the school day to give students quality careers education and guidance. More than half (61%) of small firms are not confident they will find the right young person for the job. Finally the FSB stresses how any change to the G 54R7?7FV??W7B&R6?V&?6???V??6FVBF???F?RB???????6???'W6??W76W0???F?RT??F?W??VVBF????p?v?BW??w&FW2?V?v?V??&V7'V?F??r7Ffb?????????F?????6??&???fVFW&F????b6????'W6??W76W2?6?C?( ?vRv?BF?6VP?V????&??G??BW'6???6????0?V?&VFFVB??WfW'?F?FV6???p??B66????2?W7Bf?7W2??F??0????w6?FR6FV?2&?v?W"?( ?wwr?g6"??&r?V???F?&VB??&R?f?6?Bwwr?6?V'f?Wr?V??6???