Leading HR, SME founders and careers and education experts are meeting in Bristol on June 9 to debate how best to engage, hire and retain the next generation of the workforce to mitigate the talent crisis

The event Culture Clash: Bridging the gap aims to understand how best to engage, recruit and retain young people leaving education and in particular look at specific areas of how emerging talent is behaving.

Organised through a unique collaboration between The HR World, University of Bristol and TechSPARK, the keynote speaker is Barclays global head of colleague engagement in EDI Hannah Awonuga. She will lead the discussion which is set across two panels with the first looking at how to communicate and hire and the second focusing on onboarding, nurturing and retaining. The morning will end with a networking lunch.

Sarah Rice, director of The HR World, tells us, “We are seeing a pattern of younger workers leaving education with big expectations of the modern workplace. In debt following their studies, they want decent wages and opportunity.

“But they also want – and deserve – to work for companies driven by purpose, whose culture is central to the difference they make in the world.

“Is there a cohesive strategy in most businesses around this work group? What is the difference in approach between SME and corporate firms? Are business leaders really thinking about tomorrow’s workplace enough – and what do young people really think about the world of work today?

“These are all questions we’re hoping to answer over the course of the morning and beyond.”

Young people want – and deserve – to work for companies driven by purpose, whose culture is central to the difference they make in the world”

Sarah Rice, Director of The HR World

Rob Taffinder, associate director at the University of Bristol Careers Service, says “It’s time for fresh, engaged thinking that capitalises on the crisis around talent to drive innovation. Only then will we really start to lay the bedrock for an employment landscape that our brightest and best young talent will want to meaningfully connect with.

“This event is a chance to look at fresh thinking in a collaborative environment, bringing together some serious minds who are actively solving these problems.”

Ben Shorrock, managing director of TechSPARK, adds, “We are constantly hearing from founders, particularly of fast growth scaleups, that hiring on purpose is fine to a point, but that people strategy becomes ever harder the bigger you become.

“The unique insight these organisations have on hiring young people will be an interesting counterpoint to more established businesses with ingrained systems.

“With the jobs market in a state of flux for all employers, this is a timely event seeking to really drive answers and outcomes for business as a whole.”

Culture Clash: Bridging the gap is sponsored by Sanderson Solutions. It is held at the Engine Shed, next to Temple Meads train station, on June 9 between 9am-1.30pm. Tickets are £37.50 and include two panels, coffee breaks and lunch.

Full details, including the panelists, can be found here.