Employing Local Youth - Employ SE1, InSpire & SEEDS2

InSpire is one of EmploySE1’s partner agencies who recruit young Southwark residents to work with local businesses through the Southwark Employment and Enterprise Development Scheme (SEEDS2); we met with InSpire's Tarina Evans to discuss the benefits of working with Employ SE1, and how the scheme can help local businesses

Recruitment can be a stressful and time-consuming process. Ben Stephenson, the CEO of WeAreWaterloo, echoes this statement:

“Our members tell us they have increasing difficulty hiring people, and a range of issues from Brexit to housing costs, the availability of labour and skills shortages are cited for this. In truth is a combination of these factors and more, making the current recruitment picture very challenging indeed.”

WeAreWaterloo started EmploySE1 together with Better Bankside and Team London Bridge to make recruitment for Lambeth and Southwark businesses more efficient, less stressful and a low cost process. Ben believes that BIDs are well placed to identify candidates, vet them and offer them to employers. BID members can use EmploySE1 to recruit local talent into full or part-time employment, work experience, or apprenticeships. 

In addition to working with businesses directly, EmploySE1 cooperates with various free-to-the-employer employment agencies based in SE1. One of these is InSpire, which also manages the Southwark Employment and Enterprise Development Scheme (SEEDS2). SEEDS2 aims to place 50 young Southwark residents, aged 16-25, with boundaries to work, into apprenticeships and employment at Southwark based SMEs. The agency is the main contact link between the council, employers and employees, and it communicates all changes in hires, job postings, and funding to all stakeholders.

Tarina Evans handles recruitment of candidates for SEEDS2, ensuring applicants meet criteria for both the scheme and the job posting. We met with Tarina to discuss why working with EmploySE1 when hiring for SEEDS2 works so well, and how the scheme can help local businesses. 

What were the main benefits of working with EmploySE1?
The main benefit was connecting with a new pool of employers; Employ SE1 has a great knowledge of local businesses, which makes it easier when we approach them about the scheme. Collaborating with EmploySE1 has led to successful hires of two candidates at Naked Creativity; one candidate was hired as a print shop assistant in March 2018, and another was hired as a cargo bike courier in May 2018.

What does SEEDS2 offer employers and employees?
Young Southwark residents who gain employment through SEEDS2 benefit from being paid the London Living Wage and having guaranteed employment for 6 or 12 months. Southwark Council subsidises 35-50% of each SEEDS2 hire’s salary, meaning that hiring through the scheme is a low cost way to grow business.

How does SEEDS2 support employers who join the programme?
SEEDS2 employers each have a dedicated Business Development Coordinator who help them throughout the process of hiring, training, and supporting their new employees. We offer quarterly trainings that cover topics such as safeguarding, working with high need employees, establishing professional boundaries, and training new employees with little or no cost. Additionally, our quarterly review meetings offer employers a chance to discuss their experiences with SEEDS2 and receive peer support from other employers in the programme. If requested, employers and their new hires are offered extra support on a flexible basis.


By hiring through SEEDS2, your business will receive a trained local employee, a subsidy from Southwark Council, and continuous support from InSpire. If you are interested in hiring through the scheme, contact Tarina by email or call 020 7740 6868. You can learn more about SEEDS2 here.

In case your business is looking to hire local talent, we encourage you to contact EmploySE1 to discuss your requirements via email or by calling 078 5271 4822. Find out more about EmploySE1 here.