By Daniel Hunter
According to new research released this week, employment specialist Working Links found that four in five (85%) young unemployed people say they left school ill-equipped to find a job.
Working Links’ experience helping unemployed young people find work confirms that employers also feel young people are entering the job market without basic employability skills or work experience.
To better understand why so many young people are failing to find work, Working Links asked a cohort of unemployed 18-24 year olds what basic employability skills and careers advice they received in school.
The findings show a huge knowledge gap that employers have a role in resolving: In summary:
- 90% left school without information about how to apply for an Apprenticeship
- 85% left school without knowledge of the skills in-demand by local employers
- 77% left school without quality information about the jobs and careers available to them
- 75% did not receive quality information about work experience opportunities while school
- 75% left school without advice on how to prepare for a job interview
- 70% of unemployed young people never received information about what skills and qualifications were in-demand in their area
- 66% of young people left school without learning how to write a CV
To address this perceived failure, Working Links is urging employers to consider three simple ways they can improve UK students’ job-readiness:
1. Ensure employability is on your local school’s agenda by joining the Board of Governors;
2. Offer work experience to GCSE pupils — work experience is proven to help young people’s chances to securing jobs, and teaching them the critical soft skills, like timekeeping, team work, and professionalism, that are so highly valued in the workplace;
3. Commit company directors to spend a day of their time each calendar year in schools — either mentoring, giving a careers talk, or consulting careers advisors about your sector’s key skills needs.
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