Unlocking Britain's Potential

Adecco Group welcomed over 100 senior leaders from across UK business, government and education to a one-day conference on 21 February, Unlocking Britain’s Potential.

Recognising our responsibility as the UK's largest recruiter - and as a major employer in our own right - we have spent the last year engaging with UK business, government, and broader stakeholders in a groundbreaking debate on the steps needed to boost the UK's competitive ability in world markets, by realising the potential of the diverse and eclectic talent on its doorstep.

Starting with a number of roundtables back in April, May and June - attended by the likes of Cadbury, the CIPD, Henley Business School, the TUC and British Airways - we fed these discussions into a piece of research, conducted amongst 500 employers and 1000 employees. Our findings highlighted a set of issues that if left untackled, and ultimately unresolved, will result in a broken labour market, and an increasingly unsustainable burden on the nation's limited resources.

The conference on 21 February brought together HR Directors, CEOs and senior executives from the likes of Cisco, Deloitte, BSkyB and Marks & Spencer to discuss our findings and debate how to unlock the potential of the UK workforce.

It’s time to act

Our research highlighted four key areas to address in order to unlock potential:

  • Employability - careers advice is considered to be out of touch, and the usefulness of work experience is largely dictated by family connections. We therefore need to improve links between schools and employers.
  • The lost workforce - we're in danger of forever excluding from society those people that currently sit on its fringes. We need to act now if we are to engage a truly diverse workforce, and to ensure our own global competitiveness.
  • Engagement - fewer than half of employers have an effective engagement strategy in place. This figure drops below even that for non directly employed workers, and is an area that all employers should be investing significant amounts of time and money in.
  • Small societies - there are many disjointed, small initiatives around the country, but it's time to put the 'big society' into practice and make one concerted effort.

Get involved

In the coming months, we will be speaking to government and galvanising further support to addressing these key issues. If you want to get involved with the Unlocking Britain’s Potential campaign, please contact Victoria Golding or Honor Paddock at victoria.golding@adecco.co.uk or honor.paddock@adecco.co.uk. For more details on the campaign, or to download your copy of the research report, go onto www.unlockingbritainspotential.co.uk