Over 200 delegates attended the Recruiting Talent event which took place on Friday 19th July at Derby Roundhouse.

The event was organised by the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) Stakeholder Manager team, with support from a large working group of partners, including all four D2N2 upper tier authorities, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, East Midlands Chamber, Derby College, Nottingham Jobs, DWP, Joined Up Careers Derbyshire and many more.

The aim of the event was to encourage employers to recruit more inclusively and diversely from our harder to reach cohorts by adopting different and more inclusive models of recruitment.

Rachel Quinn, Employability & Inclusion Manager from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership opened the event addressing the difficulties many businesses face with recruitment, the skills shortage and the reducing talent pool, highlighting the need for businesses to think differently about recruitment to bring on board the people and skills they need now and in the future.

Event goers got the chance to hear from Elizabeth Fagan, Chair of D2N2 LEP, and non-executive board member for Boots, who re-iterated the need for inclusive recruitment and provided some real insight into what Boots are doing to tackle the issues and ensure they have the skills of the future. Michael Weedon from the Federation of Small Business shared his views on the impact of Small & Medium Enterprises in supporting local communities, providing some impressive statistics and creating a real conversation among delegates on the day.

Attendees had a choice of five workshops to attend from Accessing Finance, Diversifying your Workforce and Employment Law. There was also a keen focus on apprenticeships and how to unlock talent.

An exhibitor marketplace also ran throughout the event, connecting businesses to providers who offer support to recruit from those harder to reach cohorts. Providers included the Princes Trust, Career Transition Partnership, Shaw Trust, Federation of Small Business and the D2N2 Growth Hub.

Councillor Evonne Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said:

The main thing that I learnt at this event is that we have to look at things differently, we have to look outside of the box. What is the best way we can look at recruiting new people with the right skills for our companies and our councils? I want us to start looking at this so we can do this innovatively that changes the way our recruitment policies are and that we start thinking about how we can be inclusive with our young people, with our new people coming in to work, and with people with learning disabilities.

Sabina Talib, BBO Stakeholder Manager for Derby City said:

It’s our role as BBO Stakeholder Managers to identify gaps in provision and bring stakeholders together to work on collaborative projects to bridge these gaps, such as this event. The agenda around inclusive recruitment is crucial and we intend to continue this conversation to feed into the Local Industrial Strategy for D2N2. I was happy with the turnout on the day and the level of employer engagement. There was a really positive atmosphere to be felt. Based on feedback, I believe there will be some real impact from this event and we look forward to seeing how that translates for Building Better Opportunities participants and those our wider network of providers are working to support.

The event was followed by a networking lunch for all attendees.

For slides from the event and the exhibitor marketplace directory, listing providers who support employers to recruit from those harder to reach cohorts, please visit the post-event webpage.

For more information on inclusive recruitment and to get involved in the conversation please contact Sabina Talib.

For more information on the role of the BBO Stakeholder Managers please visit the d2N2 website.