Is your organisation supporting the next generation of workers?

By Lizzie Crowley, Skills Adviser

Ahead of World Youth Skills Day (15th July) we asked HR professionals what type of opportunities their organisations offered young people. It was really positive to see the high level of engagement, particularly with the proportion of HR professionals offering structured routes for young people to develop their skills and experience; the majority of HR professionals who responded to the poll offered work experience placements (81%) and apprenticeship places (67%) for young people. Yet, a smaller proportion offered workplace visits (44%) and career talks (51%), which are a really valuable route for young people to learn about the world of work, the wide variety of roles available with organisations, and the career paths available.

This, however, broadly fits with the national picture. Recent evidence from the Employer Perspective Survey 2016, which captures the views of over 18,000 employers across the UK, found that employers were much more likely to offer work placements (38%) than ‘work inspiration’ (10%) activities such as mentoring, holding site visits and visiting educational institutions to talk with students about careers.

So how can HR professionals support young people gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed in the workplace?

There are many ways that HR professionals can engage and support young people build their skills and make the important transition from education to work. We have developed a range of resources to support HR professionals through our Learning to Work programme some top tips include:

• Recognise and promote the business case for supporting young people during the transition from education to work.

• Reach out to local schools and colleges, this can help bridge the gap between education and business and allow you to reach out to new talent pools.

• Use your skills to help young people prepare for the recruitment process by developing their employability skills such as CV writing, interview technique and job search.

Become a Steps Ahead Mentor to provide mentoring sessions for a young jobseeker jobseekers to help them improve their employability skills, boost their confidence and find work.

• Provide high quality work experience and volunteering opportunities that will give young people the insight and skills they need to work in your industry.

• Look for opportunities to make recruitment practices within your organisation as youth friendly as possible.

You can also get involved by becoming an Enterprise Adviser. Enterprise Advisers are senior business volunteers who are matched with a school or college to provide local labour market insight and advice on how to connect to other local employers. CIPD members interested in volunteering can register their interest at www.cipdenterpriseadvisers.co.uk.

Share what your organisation is doing for young people this World Youth Skills Day using #Skillsforall and #WYSD

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