Inspire a generation in to work

I'm sure like most of you, I have been totally caught up in Olympo-mania as Boris Johnson has christened it! Not only is it the excitement of the competition, but also we have seen such incredible role models for young people.

I particularly love the slogan and idea of inspiring a generation, and have been reflecting on the parallels to business and the challenges of youth employment.

According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), only about 1 in 10 business directly recruit 16-18 year olds from school, and less than a quarter of employers recruit anyone under 24 directly from education. Rising youth unemployment or under employment has huge long term economic and social consequences.

We want young people when we employ them to have work experience, but we have to start by giving them the chance. We need to be able to inspire young people in to the world of work and give them opportunity.

This includes providing good work experience, supporting apprenticeships and learning at work programs, to ensuring our recruitment practices are diverse enough to attract different cohorts of young people, and even how we design jobs.

This is not just about corporate social responsibility; It's about creating positive business value and helping to build long term sustainable businesses.

At the CIPD, we have some great research and knowledge of best practices on engaging and developing young people which I am keen to promote. We are campaigning together with a wide group of employers and other institutions via our Learning to Work initiative, developing a program to encourage mentoring of young people in our local communities, as well as providing access to a wide body of knowledge.

Let's all see what we can do to inspire young people in to inspiring work opportunities.

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  • Anonymous

    I totally agree with you! Look at Mark Zuckerberg or Bernando Hernandez! Young people have very good ideas and lots of illusion and energy! I think this "ask for experience" mania is not good for an intelligent business strategy. :)

    Carolina Reynoso

  • Anonymous

    Great post - this is a topic I feel very strongly about.  

    There are lots of young people out there that need a chance and some (hopefully the minority) employers are taking advantage.  I recently heard about a restaurant asking interviewees to work a whole weekend shift as part of the interview process for no pay and then they received no further communication.

    I strongly believe that young people are our future and we have a duty of care to them and their future career prospects.  

    We have employed young staff straight from Uni and on intern schemes and they have been eager to learn, able to pick things up quickly and fantastic at taking on board feedback.

    I certainly agree we could all do more.

  • Anonymous

    carving careers trying to help as many as we can with not much support we all blog and talk but not much gets done i find

  • I am fortunate enough to be in a position and manage my HR function. As part of this I have recently created my "Talent of Tomorrow" programme and have so far encouraged 10 students from the local area to take up a work experience placement with my organisation. The programme is designed about generating their ideas of work, combating the myths of the workplace and helping to generate motivation to achieve their career aspirations.