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Matchtech welcomes Flick Drummond MP to Whiteley HQ
Matchtech and the wider Gattaca group recently welcomed Flick Drummond MP to visit our offices in Whiteley, to begin vital discussions around our respective efforts to reduce, and ultimately combat, the STEM skills gap.
Flick spent the afternoon with CEO Kevin Freeguard, Head of Public Sector Sophia Gallifant and Alderwood’s Lead Consultant for Employability Katharine Winter and heard firsthand their own experiences of working with STEM businesses in a skills short market.
Of the visit Kevin Freeguard, Chief Executive Officer for the Gattaca group said:
“We were delighted to welcome Flick Drummond in her capacity as Member of Parliament for Meon Valley and appreciated her interest in Gattaca’s activity as a leading recruitment solutions company. There continues to be significant demand for STEM skills across industry and we are keen to foster the partnership with government bodies to push for the legislation and resources needed to ensure a strong talent pipeline for the future.”
As the visit took place ahead of National Apprenticeship Week 2022, Flick was particularly keen to understand how Matchtech and Gattaca, as a business, are using such initiatives to help build a future talent pipeline. In turn, representatives from across Gattaca detailed the vital channels we believe to be solutions to the STEM skills shortage.
Driving awareness & uptake of developmental programmes
As the UK aims to recover from the impact of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for businesses to equip their employees with the skills they need to help them grow and create a competitive edge. Apprenticeships and on-the-job qualifications may be the unsung hero when it comes to doing this.
As a company, Matchtech is committed to providing staff with market-leading training from initial onboarding and throughout employee tenure. This includes supporting staff development through apprenticeships and further qualifications.
Katharine Winter, of our sister company Alderwood, described completing her first apprenticeship aged 35 - supported by our company-wide apprenticeship levy - as ‘invaluable’ to her professional development.
According to research undertaken by the CIPD, nearly £2bn of employers’ levy funds has gone unspent since 2019. Whilst apprenticeships are evidently a vital way for employers to combat their own talent challenges by investing in and nurturing the next generation of talent in a practical way, government and businesses alike need to do more to further utilise the initiatives available.
Unlocking the power of hidden talent pools
Drawing from ‘hidden’ or untapped talent pools allows organisations to attract and retain talent with varied and adaptable skillsets that can be shaped to fit your business needs.
In a recent Webinar, STEM Talent Trends in 2022, Managing Director for Gattaca Matt Holmes stated:
“So often we focus our attention on building a talent pipeline for the distant future, but to have a material impact on the here and now it’s more beneficial to invest in reskilling and upskilling incoming talent through learning and development.
Currently, we’re seeing businesses all on the hunt for the same type of candidate, but not enough businesses adapting to take on trainees or graduates and invest the time to train them.”
In the wake of the first lockdown, Matchtech - as part of the wider Gattaca group - committed to returning 2,000 unemployed people to the workforce. We achieved this milestone in June of 2021, made possible by engaging with our clients around expanding their talent search. In particular, we championed drawing from more diverse talent pools by providing a wealth of online events designed to help our clients embed diversity and inclusion into the fabric of their business.
In a bid to unlock vital STEM talent for the future, we provided an online resource of STEM education tools and activities for children designed to help inspire the next generation and teach them STEM-focused skills and topics such as forces, coding, problem-solving, perseverance, experimenting, logical thinking and much more. In addition, our X-Mess competition sparked crucial conversations amongst the children in our community about sustainability and waste.
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