BAE Systems encourages suppliers to support movement to work

Owen Elford and James Durkan
BAE Systems' suppliers from across the Solent gathered today at Portsmouth Naval Base to learn more about the employer-led ‘Movement to Work’ programme. The unique employment initiative provides long-term unemployed young people with valuable experience to help them find employment throughout the UK.

Speakers from BAE Systems, Movement to Work, the Prince's Trust and Job Centre Plus took to the stage at the BAE Systems supplier conference to share details of how the programme has already benefitted many young people, and to encourage attendees to consider supporting the Movement to Work initiative to boost the employability of unemployed young people in the Solent area.

Paolo Vicari, Programme Director, Movement to Work commented: "We are delighted that BAE Systems are encouraging their suppliers to get on board and become part of Movement to Work. We are keen to encourage employers of all sizes to join us. Together, we can help unemployed young people break out of the cycle of ‘no job, no experience; no experience, no job".

Derren Chamberlain, Supply Chain Director at BAE Systems Maritime Services said: "We have seen at first-hand the benefits the Movement to Work initiative can bring to young people and employers alike. In 2015, we will offer 100 work experience places across our UK sites through Movement to Work, as part of our broader commitment to supporting the employability skills of young people. We would like to encourage other companies in the area to take part in the programme as an important way of engaging with the community, and providing an opportunity for the young unemployed people in the community to gain valuable skills and experience."

One young person who has already benefitted from the scheme is 20-year-old Owen Elford from Portsmouth. Addressing the conference audience, he shared his experience of the Movement to Work programme which he undertook after being made redundant.

Through Movement to Work, Owen spent two weeks with BAE Systems' Maritime Services working on the gas, electrical power and steam systems at HM Naval Base Portsmouth. He has subsequently been offered an Engineering Craft Apprenticeship at BAE Systems which he will start in September this year.

Reflecting on his experience, Owen said: "Taking part in the Movement to Work programme not only offered two really enjoyable weeks of experience, but it also led to me being offered an apprenticeship position at BAE Systems. I am looking forward to starting in September and I would really encourage other young people struggling to find work like me to consider taking part in the programme."

Movement to Work comprises more than 100 UK employers. Together, these employers are working to provide work experience to thousands of unemployed young people this year, giving them the skills and confidence to find a job.