News & blogs News Growing talent in Buckinghamshire: announcing the launch of Skill Up Bucks Adviza is pleased to announced the launch of a new employability programme, Skill Up Bucks. Its aim is to align schools, colleges, jobseekers and local employers, creating opportunities for people aged 17+ to meet, interact and gain work or mentoring experience with employers, supporting the retention of talent in the region. Supporting local students, schools and employers Through a range of activities such as employer visits, recruitment events, placements and mentoring, the new employability programme aims to support students to make informed decisions for their future, help schools and colleges to meet Gatsby benchmarks (particularly 5 and 6), and support employers as they identify and develop their future workforce. Skill Up Bucks is delivered by careers charity Adviza and delivery partners Buckinghamshire New University, Support for Business and The Healthy Living Centre. The programme is funded by the European Social Fund and the Department for Work and Pensions. There is no single solution to align students and jobseekers with employers, so Skill Up Bucks is an evolving programme. Our cross-organisational project team is reaching out to employers and the community right now, building the most effective student/employee interactions. We’re particularly seeking mentors from any size of organisation, even the smallest, to speak to students about the skills they seek, the careers they offer and the best routes into them. Local employers stand to gain a lot from participating in Skill Up Bucks. Aside from retaining local talent, employers will be provided information and guidance on how to access and participate in government initiatives such as Kickstart and apprenticeships. The project will also provide locals SMEs a voice in their Local Enterprise Partnership where their skills needs can be better-represented. Skill Up Bucks Project Manager Allan Potter says, “Local SMEs who want to get involved with talent-nurturing but don’t know where to begin will have a single point of contact to help them facilitate their ideas. We will take the away those initial strains as they begin the process and provide the guidance they need to create opportunities that match their resource. I’m excited about what Skill Up Bucks can do for the county in the longer term.” How can I get involved? Anyone keen to get involved – either employers, individuals or education centres – can contact [email protected] and a specialist adviser will be in touch. European Social Fund The project is funded by the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.