Scotland the Blog: catch them young

This month in CIPD Scotland, we have been focusing mainly on young people. We started the month with an HRD summit to inform the conclusions of the Wood Commission on Developing Scotland's Young People. Our HRD's gave the Commission some great insight into what employers want and need from skills policy so they can help young people. A month later we launched our Inspiring the Future partnership.

This is about getting young people clued up about the massive diversity of jobs which are out there and the various journeys people make to get to their destination. It's about getting people into schools to share their stories and inspire young people in their carer choices. A career insight talk. or help with practical skills it all makes a massive difference so please sign up and help inspire young people. Your input or that of your colleagues can help young people think about their subject choices or re-think their ambitions.

The ambition of young people however is to get a job with prospects of development or a place in further or higher education. Soberingly however when young people leave school its a lot tougher to engage them. On the day before our ITF event our national policy campaigns manager and youth skills champion Katerina Rudiger  and CIPD Scotland's Louise Harley met with the Department for Work and pensions (DWP) Scotland to promote our Steps Ahead mentoring programme. Steps Ahead  uses the skills of HR professionals to help young people without jobs to engage with the labour market. We help with CV's interview preparation, help young people negotiate tests and assessment, and provide a listening ear and a supportive challenge.

These three aspects of young people and employment the Wood Commission and its focus on developing careers education and employer involvement, the ITF initiative which helps land that objective, and the Steps Ahead programme which attempts to help young people before they sink into the mire of unemployment. Nothing is more important in the skills arena which is why CIPD have prioritised this. 20 percent of young people in Scotland are unemployed which is a shocking waste of talent.

However the way in which young people are prepared for the world of work is critical. inspiring the Future think that we need to get to  them even younger with primary school engagement. One colleague bridles at this saying"let children be children".  It's a good point but the evidence about workless generations suggests that we might need to go further down the education ladder to help young people find the steps they need to get ahead.

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