Invest in future talent to ensure young recruits are in the best position to deliver for your organisation.

Creating access routes into the labour market and recruiting young people is incredibly important but it is only one half of the equation. It is also crucial that when a young worker first enters the workplace, the experience sets them up for a long and successful career.

For a young person, the experience of entering the workplace and adjusting to working life, perhaps for the first time, whilst also learning and performing tasks they may never have done before, can be a daunting prospect. As a result, the role of the line manager is crucial to ensuring the right level of support is provided to help younger, inexperienced employees develop skills and expertise, grow in confidence and, in the longer-term, flourish in their new role and contribute to business’s successes. Investing in future talent in this way also brings benefits for line managers and wider teams too, as bringing more young people into organisations opens up development opportunities for existing staff to hone their professional and personal skills.

CIPD research with employers who successfully employ young people uncovered a number of key recommendations that will help get the most from young employees, including:

  • providing a structured induction to help young recruits understand their job, adapt to the organisation effectively and settle comfortably into the workplace
  • encouraging young employees to build up confidence and trust in the organisation by ensuring they have a consistent supervisor or line manager they can go to for support
  • providing regular feedback and opportunities for discussion
  • recognising talent as it emerges and provide appropriate opportunities for it to flourish, either via additional duties, formal training or opportunities to gain skills outside of work, such as via volunteering.

Read Managing Future Talent for further guidance on how to create a culture that will give young recruits the opportunity to thrive.


Look to best practice to provide the right practical support and guidance to ensure young employees get the start they need to succeed, highlighted in the CIPD’s Managing Future Talent guide. Volunteer to line manage or mentor a young employee within your organisation and share the guide with colleagues, client and those in your supply chain.

Your organisation

Invest in your line managers who play a crucial role in helping young employees embed themselves within the organisation. For any employee, a good line manager is vital, however, for a young person new to the world of work, their needs can be different to those of a more experienced worker. As such, they might require a different level of support to navigate through those early days and it is important your line managers are equipped to deliver this.

As well as connecting into your organisations corporate social responsibility agenda, volunteering programmes have been shown to have a long term impact on organisational success if integrated into learning and development strategies. The CIPD has developed a framework which allows employers to understand the various skills employees can gain from different types of volunteering, specifically programmes that encourage greater levels of engagement with young people. Further details can be found in the Volunteering to learn: Employee development through community action report.