Business leaders gather to develop new job pathways for town’s young people

LEADERS from education, business and local government gathered to discuss how to create new opportunities to help young people in the Hastings area enter work with better skills and experience.

The event was organised by newly created online jobs board, part of the family of jobs boards, and brought together all the key partners that are supporting the project.

They included training and employment leaders such as Sussex Coast College, Let’s Do Business Group, Parker Building Supplies, Hastings Borough Council and Hastings Direct.

The meeting also heard from Sarah Williams, from the Sussex Learning Network, who outlined key findings of new research on information, advice and guidance about how the needs of business must shape the education and training offered to young people.

Sarah, who is working with, said: “The event provided an excellent chance for me to issue a call to action to businesses and education providers to work more closely together to improve opportunities for young people and address some of the key challenges that are facing us.”

Nicky Binning, managing director of, said: “As well as providing an online jobs board, we offer careers information, advice and guidance and work very hard to raise the aspirations of young people coming into the workforce. We are uniquely placed to do this as we bring together businesses, charities, communities, education providers and local authorities to provide all of the tools and inspiration young people need to succeed.

“We all need to work together to help young people prepare for work in a workplace that is going to look completely different in a just a few years’ time and that is where the collaboration between business and education is so vital.”

In February last year representatives from Hastings Borough Council, businesses and other employers met to set up the Own Grown campaign with the aim of making 1,066 pledges to help young people into work in a variety of ways, such as internships, over a 12-month period.

The target was smashed before the end of 2013, as 1,215 pledges were made by businesses.