Giving our next generation the best possible chance

Investing in the people who make up our Thriving Communities is an important part of Corporate Responsibility here at RSA. For some time in the UK, our colleagues have been helping improve the employability prospects of people local to our offices, especially young adults. In 2016 we finally gave their support a name: Ready, Set, Achieve. RSA volunteers design and deliver workshops that provide an insight into our industry and business, while teaching vital workplace skills. We ran 14 Ready, Set, Achieve workshops in 2016, supporting almost 300 participants including school and college students and ex-offenders looking for employment. We are also delighted to have welcomed four talented individuals recruited from our college workshops too.

With a 13% youth unemployment rate, now is a tough time to be a young jobseeker in the UK. This issue matters to us at RSA as we look to find ways of bettering this generation’s prospects and to attract the brightest young minds to our business. We recognise that our communities are comprised of customers and employees, past, present and future. It is our responsibility to ensure we actively contribute to strengthening those communities.

Research suggests* that soft skills, like effective listening, teamwork and self-management are vital to the workplace. This is the focus of the employability workshops we developed in 2014. These bespoke sessions are designed and delivered for schools and colleges across the UK by our own colleagues. They address the most critical skills gaps that will help young people secure their own careers. Having now facilitated nearly 40 of these tailored workshops, in 2016 we gave them a collective identity as Ready, Set, Achieve. Knowing that our colleagues’ efforts have helped us convert four young attendees into promising new RSA recruits is a terrific reward for everyone involved.

There will be no let-up in Ready, Set, Achieve during 2017. In fact, we are working on ways to strategically align the programme with locations where our recruitment is focused, such as our Peterborough office. For our business and for young jobseekers, it is essential that our workshop volunteers keep working in partnership with local communities to make things better together.