Our sixth Together for Sutton (TfS) Information Network was held on 11th March 2024 at Sutton Central Library, and we were pleased to see over 70 guests on the day.

This one was very much focused on Employment, Education & Training, whereby the audience were encouraged to think outside the box when exploring recruitment and retaining staff. What makes a good Employer? What do they look like? Our five amazing Guest Speakers looked to explore the current landscape and delve deeper into these subjects. Is salary enough anymore for staff or should we be exploring the holistic package?

Opening the event, we had our very own TfS partner Anita Maullin, Volunteer Centre Sutton CEO, talking about Volunteering and how it can often be used as a platform into paid employment with Clem’s story as a prime example of this.

11 March 2024 Info Network Anita Maullin Audience

Anita Maullin, Volunteer Centre Sutton CEO.

Often volunteers are thought of as retired people, who no longer want to work anymore, but still wanting to give back to their community. A 2024 volunteer looks very different to what was perceived a decade ago! Now we are seeing more younger volunteers looking to enhance their experiences thus the offer that they bring to paid employment, or perhaps those looking to change their career path entirely.

Volunteering is very much being used as a platform to be launched into paid work, and this is something employers should be considering when recruiting. 

11 March 2024 Info Network Clem Sloggett

Clementine Sloggett, NHS South West London.

Our second Guest Speaker was Polly Persechino, South London Partnership, and she explored the current employment landscape and how we can work better together collaboratively to improve our support for our unemployed residents.

11 March 2024 Info Network Polly Persechino

Polly Persechino, South London Partnership.

Ursula Johnston then looked to explore pathways into Reed in Partnerships existing Supported Employment Programme, creating both an awareness of this local offer, and looking to enhance pathways to push the scheme further.

11 March 2024 Info Network Ursula Johnston  

Ursula Johnston, Reed in Partnership.

11 March 2024 Info Network Reed in Partnership

Reed in Partnership.

Closing the events presentations we had both Kes Gill Martin, Citizens Advice UK, and Monalisa Saha, Living Wage Foundation, who provided us with a great presentation on how we can look to influence employment terms and conditions, including pay, in our Borough. Only 19 Employers in Sutton are Living Wage Employers, surely we need to improve this number!!

11 March 2024 Info Network Kes Gill Martin  

Kes Gill Martin, Citizens UK.

11 March 2024 Info Network Monalisa Saha

Monalisa Saha, Living Wage Foundation.

Another big “Thank You” to all of our Guest Speakers, Stallholders, Sutton Library and LBS Facilities Teams and Guests, you were all on point and helped everyone with the event so that we could focus on how best to move forwards positively, together.

Should you have a spare five minutes, please do let me know your feedback with our quick and easy survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RWXN2FG

As with everything, there is no magical wand to make the situation with employment improve over night, but together, if we continue to work collaboratively, sharing best practices and joining up our projects, we hope to ease such issues and help our Sutton residents to have full, inclusive access to education, training and ultimately employment opportunities.