Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Conference aims to reconnect employers with young people after pandemic


A summer of work experience and employer engagement with young people has been lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A virtual conference, being run next week by Swindon and Wiltshire Careers Hub, aims to address the issue and find solutions.

Research shows that a young person who has four or more meaningful encounters with an employer during their school years is 86 percent less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training by the end of their school career.

Meeting employers and experiencing the world of work is a crucial part of careers education, helping to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work, says the Hub.

But home-working, school closures and social distancing rules have led to a vast reduction in engagement between employers and young people.

The two-hour online conference will be opened by Paddy Bradley, Chief Executive, Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and feature presentations from professionals including:

  • The Impact of Covid-19 on young people’s career development - Nicola Hall, Careers and Enterprise Company
  • Changes to the policy landscape: apprenticeships, traineeships and the youth agenda - Rachael Johnson, Wiltshire Council and Stuart Shimmin-Vincent, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Changes to employer recruitment practices - Simon Riechwald Strategic Lead for Talent, MyKindaFuture
  • Experiences of the workplace in a virtual world - Jason Andrews, virtual work experience programme co-ordinator at Jacobs
  • Working with SEND young people - Andrew McBride, head of global HR at G&H, SEND enterprise adviser, and Jenny Cornick, managing director, Talentino

The conference takes place on Tuesday, September 15 from 11am to 1pm. For more information, or to request an invitation, email Careers Hub lead Shona Taylor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.