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Hire sector looks to boost employment despite COVID-19 crisis

As the nation looks to the new year ahead with some trepidation as to the long-term effects of the COVID-19 crisis on employment and the economy, hire sector leader Hire Association Europe and Event Hire Association (HAE EHA) is embarking on a vigorous series of initiatives aimed at attracting people from all age groups, skill sets and backgrounds, to boost the workforce in the tool, plant and equipment hire sector.

HAE EHA has been awarded official status as a provider of the DWP’s Kickstart Scheme, a multi-million-pound government initiative designed to create thousands of high-quality work placements for young people aged 16-24 who are at risk of long-term unemployment. In addition, the Association has linked up with business partner MyKindaFuture, an award-winning HR tech company specialising in helping under-represented talent get into work. It works with employers to attract, place and retain overlooked and diverse talent, including young people, both male and female, and those returning to the workplace.

Due to the pandemic schools are under pressure to get their students back up to speed with their education after the enforced absence, meaning work experience placements and careers events could be put on the back burner well into 2021.

Under Kickstart, more than 40 6-month placements have been provided by HAE EHA members across England and Wales, and participants will be able to gain paid work experience in a variety of areas within hire operations. There will also be additional funding available to support young people to build their experience and to help them move into sustained employment after completing the Kickstart Scheme. As well as this, HAE EHA’s partnership with MyKindaFuture can supply vital opportunities for year 10,11 and 12 students to consider a career in Hire.

HAE EHA has also signed up to the Gatsby Benchmark, a framework of eight guidelines that define the best careers provision in secondary schools. With funding from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to support job seekers, the Hire Industry is striving to offer an alternative career to those worst hit by the downturn and lost jobs in sectors like hospitality, airlines and banks.

HAE EHA has hundreds of members in the industry across the world, including the six biggest hire companies in the UK, and by registering on the association’s website, jobseekers can receive alerts for vacancies across the hire spectrum.

The hire sector is a vital component in enabling the delivery of economic activity, commercial and public, in the UK and globally. HAE EHA members provide the resources and capability behind much public and commercial investment: in land and buildings, vital infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Crossrail, and for national and international events.

In addition to the tragic loss of life, Coronavirus has cost many people their jobs and potentially reduced the level of guidance and support for youngsters just starting their working lives. However with the help of these new initiatives, this negative can be turned into a positive and hire companies now have the opportunity to engage with workers and make them aware of the industry and the different career paths on offer.

More information is available from www.hae.org.uk

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