The foreword to the Sutton Trust report ‘Advancing Ambitions’ highlights the positive impacts of high-quality career guidance in schools and colleges: improved attendance, better GCSE results and wiser university choices. But it also offers another more straightforward reason why we should have a high standard of career guidance in every school and college: not doing so places non-privileged young people at an even greater disadvantage in their ability to access the best opportunities.
Access to education and career opportunities for all young people and improving social mobility are well known objectives in business and public policy. The challenges too are well known, with stakeholders across the education, skills and business communities actively involved in a wide range of initiatives to address the issues we have with helping all young people make better, more informed choices about their futures. Ahead of Professions Week (10-16 November 2014) this article reflects on employer involvement in careers support for young people and how essential a partnership approach is to securing #futuretalent for the UK’s competitiveness.
Already in 2010 the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) convened a Youth Employment Taskforce led by Baroness Prosser OBE in light of employer concerns about youth unemployment. With a brief to consider what policy makers, employers and educators could do to help to get more young people into work at the height of the recession, the Taskforce recognised the important role that recruiters have to play given their understanding of the jobs market.
The REC’s Youth Employment Charter provides a focal point to support its members who want to do more to help the next generation of talent. Four years on since its launch, REC members have helped over 20,000 young people. The four case examples below show what some recruiters are doing to develop the #futuretalent our economy needs.
- Developed a dedicated programme called ‘Rising Stars’ to provide young people with experience in many different aspects of the business, with the desired outcome of creating tomorrow’s outstanding recruitment consultants.
- Visited schools, colleges and universities to offer one-to-one advice or host recruitment events to help young people with the knowledge for trying to find work.
Firebird Training Ltd
- Worked actively with young people to offer personal coaching.
- Recruited interns and work experience students into the business on a regular basis.
- A division of the company (www.inspiredyouths.co.uk) runs programmes in schools to help young people find employment or set up their own business.
- Worked with the National Apprenticeship Service and the RICS to identify apprenticeships available in Surveying.
- Worked with the Chartered Surveyor Training Trust (CSTT) to identify whether the current apprenticeship framework is suitable for the surveying industry.
- Partnered with CSTT to establish relationships with local schools to develop apprenticeships in the process engineering sectors.
The Plus Team
- Provided seminars to over 600 young people, primarily aimed at the NEET group to share insider tips and techniques to help them secure work quickly.
- Supported Welfare to Work providers at events. Topics cover on-line CV applications, how the recruitment parsing software works or how to prepare people to deliver successful interviews, including understanding the CBI score system.
Recruiters clearly have a role to play in helping young people understand the job search process. The challenge for recruiters and the careers sector, schools and colleges is ensuring that these many positive actions are embedded as part of a well-planned careers programme in schools and colleges.
The reality is that addressing youth unemployment and smoothing the education to employment transition for young people at a level of scale that is needed can only be achieved where all the actors involved understand the need for partnership working, recognise their distinctive and complementary contributions and ensure greater co-ordination of effort at a local level within a ‘national organising framework’. Hence the Careers Alliance has established a #futuretalent campaign to affirm that working together within a well-planned careers programme, employers and career professionals can provide far more effective help to young people than either could do on their own.
We must act now as the bald truth is beyond comprehension – if the levels of youth unemployment remain unchanged over the next decade, it is estimated that the net cost to the Treasury will be approximately £28 billion (Source: Acevo).
We invite employers and industry bodies to join the Careers Alliance #futuretalent campaign to ensure we achieve a significant step-change in how we prepare young people for the world of work.
- The #futuretalent campaign by the Careers Alliance is supported by over 50 large employers, professional bodies, Sector Skills Councils, and education organisations, including:
- Atkins, Capgemini, Deloitte, National Grid, Siemens, Wates;
- the Sutton Trust, the ACCA, the Bar Council, the Chartered Management Institute, the ICAEW;
- the EEF (the manufacturers organisation), the BVCA, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Federation for Industry Sector Skills & Standards, Creative & Cultural Skills;
- ManPowerGroup and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation amongst many others.
- The full list of #futuretalent supporters can be found here.
- The REC is the professional body for the UK’s £26 billion recruitment industry. With over 3,500 recruitment businesses in membership, it represents 80% of the industry by turnover. The REC aims to promote the positive contribution that high quality recruitment can make to UK plc.
- More information on the REC’s Youth Employment Taskforce and more case examples of how recruiters are helping young people can be found here.
- Professions Week is organised by Access to the Professions, a network of 19 professional bodies – the REC is one of the member organisations. Professions Week aims to increase awareness of the range and variety of potential employment options the professions have to offer young people, and encourages likeminded organisations to recruit people from a diverse range of disciplines and backgrounds.
- The list of professional bodies that are members of Access to the Professions includes: AAT, ACCA, ATT, CII, CIOT, Cilex, CIMA, CIPA, CIPD, CIPP, CIPS, CISI, CMI, IAB, ICAEW, IfL, ILM, PARN, REC.