Some UK companies believe marginalised young people outside the mainstream labour market are key to tackle looming labour shortages in construction, agriculture and retail.
A coalition including FTSE companies like Berkeley, Marks & Spencer and BAE Systems, along with academics, professional institutes and youth charities on Monday launched a guide to help employers bring marginalised youths into full-time work.
The proposition could help up to 500,000 young adults (or more) start their careers and avoid them turning to gangs and crime to make a living. In particular, these measures could help address the ethnic disparities in youth employment with people belonging to black or asian minorities being twice less likely to find a job than their white peers.
The government recently announced a £90 million investment to tackle these inequalities in youth unemployment.
Peter Cheese, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, said: “Endlessly hiring mini-me's may be easy but it's unsustainable, not least because the traditional talent pools are over fished.
“Reaching young adults who are outside the system demands conviction and effort but it brings different insights and thinking to your organisation, as well as fulfilling a wider social purpose.”
Rob Perrins, CEO of Berkeley, said: “People ask us, why recruit someone who might not be an easy fit? The answer is, these young adults bring a whole new dimension to our business and we need different kinds of talent, not just more of the same.
“I also believe they have a right to have a chance and companies like us can have a transformational impact on society if we choose.”
The Berkeley Foundation supports Street Elite which has helped, since 2012, over 300 youths across London estates who were on the edge of crime and gangs to find jobs. M&S run a programme called 'Marks & Start' and they support 3,000 people a year