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Leading recruitment company Blue Arrow has today announced two new partners as part of its goal to help Britain get back to work. Both learndirect and the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy will work with Blue Arrow to deliver pre-employment and entrepreneurial skills training respectively to ensure Blue Arrow can successfully help place unemployed 16-24 year olds and over 50s in vacancies within British businesses.

These partnerships follow Blue Arrow’s success during 2013 where it placed over 11,000 16-24 year olds into work. In May of 2013, Blue Arrow was announced as the most successful private sector company to help this age group find employment via the Government’s Work Programme. Blue Arrow also successfully placed over 5,000 over 50s (of which 50% were aged 55 or over) during the same period.

One of the biggest problems businesses face is the issue of candidates lacking the right skills for the jobs on offer. In its recent January 2014 report, McKinsey identified that a quarter of European employees are struggling to fill vacancies despite the large number of unemployed youth. Despite 74% of education suppliers believing that young people were being equipped with the skills required for work, only 35% of employers surveyed agreed with this statement.

Blue Arrow’s new partnerships will aim to address skills gaps by overcoming these challenges.

learndirect will offer pre-employment training to prepare and equip qualifying candidates for the workplace, before they are placed in suitable employment.

“We are delighted to be working with Blue Arrow on this initiative to tackle the ongoing problem of job placement for the unemployed.  In the last decade we’ve helped hundreds of thousands of people to improve their skills, enabling them to gain employment and change their lives forever.  We’re excited about building upon our heritage and experience to help support more people back into the workplace,” commented Iain Salisbury, learndirect.

The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy will work with Blue Arrow to provide commercial work experience placements to academy students. This is designed to give them the entrepreneurial skills that are in such demand by the businesses looking to hire young employees.

“Blue Arrow has committed to support our academy students nationally with work experience placements. In addition, it is providing workshop development programmes, which specialise in CV writing and interview skills. All of these components provide invaluable experience and learning for our academy network and play a significant role in either preparing our students for employment, starting their own business, or going into university,” comments Alice Barnard, CEO, the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy.

“The challenge of helping unemployed, low-qualified adults back into work isn’t going away and there’s also no simple answer. The solution needs to combine skills-based training, relevant work experience and help with job searching. Blue Arrow is well-placed to identify suitable work opportunities for the unemployed that – with the right support, experience and training – can help develop their talent and skills to the requirements of business,” comments Mark Manaton, CEO at Blue Arrow.

“We are excited to take responsibility as one of the leading recruitment agencies to make this happen. These new partnerships represent a significant way of breaking down the barriers that restrict access to the labour market, specifically with the young unemployed. We have only touched the surface with our achievements to date and believe both learndirect and the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy offer the complementary skills that are required to get Britain back to work.”