16-24 year olds from London were invited to put their questions to Ledley, the Minister for Employment and a panel of business leaders from the BBC, Hilton International, Microsoft Land Securities and the Club’s Executive Director, Donna-Maria Cullen, regarding the issues affecting youth employment and recruitment.
Ledley shared his personal experiences of growing up in inner-city London, finding a career path and achieving his own goals, before offering a few words of encouragement and advice to the young people.
Minister for Employment, Esther McVey said: "Young Brits are some of the best and talented in the world. They are resourceful, entrepreneurial and have a curiosity about the world that I believe will bring added confidence to our Britain of the future.
"Times have been tough for young people in the jobs market, but we know that despite the worst recession in recent times, our young people are getting jobs and are studying at unprecedented levels - especially when compared with previous recessions of the early 80s and 90s.
"We know there is more to do, which is why we've recently launched pilots for 16 and 17 year olds, and why we are putting young people in touch with experts at events such as Talking Youth - to help young people get the right skills and the right opportunities to get in and get on.”
Speaking about the importance of being a role model to young people looking for employment, Ledley said: “It’s hard to know what career path to choose at a young age. For me I always wanted a career in football, but for others making the decision to build a future in a particular industry can prove challenging. There’s lots of help and support available to young people, I’ve seen this through the work the Club does with young people living in Haringey. My advice would be to work hard, remain focused and don’t give up.”
After the event, Ledley made his way back to the Lane to meet with young people from the local community attending Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Jobs Fair, delivered in partnership with Haringey Council and DWP. Held at the stadium, there were 60 employers offering live job, apprenticeship and education opportunities to over 650 job seekers.
Representatives from organisations including Sainsbury’s, Virgin Media, Argos, Barclays, Next, Premier Inn and Apex Hotels to name but a few, were on hand to talk candidates through jobs available and give helpful tips on how to apply.
The Club and Foundation work closely with government, local businesses and organisations to deliver employment and education opportunities to the local community through the delivery of apprenticeship schemes, college and degree programmes and employment initiatives.
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation hosts its Jobs Fair at White Hart Lane regularly. To find out when the next Jobs Fair is keep an eye on www.tottenhamhotspur.com/foundation.