Lack of insights
Too many young people in the UK have the same affliction: they’re out of work. Among 16-24 year-olds, unemployment now stands at 993,000 and a young person is over three and a half times more likely to be jobless than an adult.
The CIPD’s recent Learning to Work research revealed 70% of employers acknowledge they have a duty to help tackle youth employment, yet still express concern that young people are ill-equipped to exploit work opportunities. Indeed, 59% said young people have unrealistic expectations about work, 49% feel young people are not prepared for work, and 63% said the young people they recruited lacked insight into the working world.
“Why should young people be work ready if they’ve never worked?” asks Katerina Rudiger, skills policy advisor at the CIPD. She argues that organisations have a huge role to play in helping young people transition from education to the workplace, but says employer perceptions and behaviours have to change.
“We need to get over ourselves and not just expect young people to step into work and know what to do,” she says. “If young people have the opportunity to engage with employers and understand their expectations, it can make a huge difference to their employability.”
The CIPD has launched the Learning to Work programme to encourage employers to help youngsters prepare for the workplace and support HR in making the business case for doing so. Rudiger explains: “We need to help HR think strategically about this, consider the skills their organisations need for the next decade and use this information to develop a sustainable future talent pipeline.”