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Attracting new talent to the world of professional services

All children should have the same opportunities to realise their potential. In Birmingham, one organisation is making sure the professional services sector does everything it can to help this become a reality.

Business Professional Services (BPS) Birmingham is the voice of the sector in the region. Chaired by Deloitte’s International Tax Partner Ian Barnes, it’s supporting young people as they go from education to career ladder – and even career leader.

Increasing awareness, raising aspirations

In June 2018, the organisation once again staged its popular Professional Services Week (PSW). A range of activities took place to raise awareness – and aspirations – among local secondary school pupils. Importantly, it was a chance for them to test the water and find out more about careers in, for example, law, accountancy, consulting and marketing. As a valued lead partner, Deloitte was there to help. “There’s a real need to reach new talent to encourage sector growth, but also increase life chances of young people in communities that are currently disconnected from these opportunities,” explains Corporate Tax Consultant and BPS member Sarah Fraser, who is based in our Birmingham office.

“Professional Services Week has an important place in the wider challenge of tackling the attraction of young talent to the sector.”

Hilary Smyth-Allen, Executive Director, BPS Birmingham

“PSW is the catalyst that empowers school children to think about professional services as a realistic career choice.”

Making sense of professional services

Sarah played an important part in PSW’s success. In the run-up to the week, she visited schools to encourage participation and organised activities including presentation skills sessions.

She was involved in sourcing venues, managing a breakfast event for the city’s leaders and hosting workshops. She also acted as chaperone during an employer taster day and business walk, where students visited different work premises.

In all, 45 schools and more than 1,400 young people took part, with over 40 employers participating. Their contribution enabled both pupils and teachers to understand what a job in professional services could be like.

Sarah continues: “Initially, the kids had no idea what we did, so it was really rewarding when, by the end of the week, many started to view professional services as an attainable career option. Being part of that was a fantastic experience.”


Gillian Bishop

Senior Public Relations Manager

+44 (0)20 7303 0776

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