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3 ways to better prepare young people for the world of work this World Youth Skills Day

By Paul Matthias, National Director of Hays Education

In a recent LinkedIn poll, 69% of respondents said that young people don’t have the necessary skills to succeed in the working world – so how can we better prepare them? This World Youth Skills Day, we look at how educational institutions and businesses can help prepare young people for the world of work.

What is World Youth Skills Day?

World Youth Skills Day was first declared by the United Nations General Assembly on 15th July 2014 to mark the importance of equipping young people with the skills needed for employment, vocational training, or apprenticeships. The day is a unique opportunity for young people, educational institutions, policy-makers, and employers to engage in dialogues about learning and development (L&D) and training opportunities for the next generation of workers.

Why do young people lack the necessary skills for future employment?

Many young people were disproportionately affected by the pandemic in terms of education, work experience, and early career development. Recent research from the International Labour Organization indicates that young workers suffered a higher rate of employment loss during the pandemic compared to other working-age adults.

Our Hays Helps report links higher rates of youth unemployment with subsequent lower pay and unemployment later in life. World Youth Skills Day aims to draw attention to these issues and raise awareness of how organisations can remove barriers to success and provide skills development opportunities for young people not in employment, education, or training (NEET).

3 ways to better prepare young people for the world of work

  1. Schools and educational institutions can incorporate career education into the curriculum to give young people a greater understanding of the world of work.

    Inspire is a free learning package that provides primary and secondary school pupils with comprehensive guidance on meaningful encounters with employers and insights into different career pathways. Resources, like Inspire, can help motivate students by linking the work they are doing presently with their future careers. The lesson plans, notes, video content, and worksheets included in the Inspire programme help schools achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks and emphasise that there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to students’ career aspirations.
     
  2. Employers can share insights with schools and higher education institutions regarding the most in-demand skills in their industries.

    Our recent research into salary and recruitment trends shows that 86% of employers have experienced skills shortages in the past year. It is therefore in organisations’ interests to ensure that young people are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve success.
     
  3. Companies can ensure they offer and communicate their learning and development opportunities to new joiners and employees at the start of their careers.

    Thrive is an example of a free online training platform for organisations to help upskill employees and provide them with the tools needed to succeed in tomorrow’s world of work. Or, companies can build their own learning and development programme with premium training packages, to focus on developing the most sought-after skills among their employees.

Over the past few years, many young people have missed out on traditional opportunities to develop work-related skills – either due to remote learning or the lack of work experience opportunities during the pandemic. Whether you’re working in education or in another industry, everyone can use World Youth Skills Day as an opportunity to reflect on how we can all play a part in closing the current skills gap and preparing the next generation for the world of work.

About this author

Paul has been with Hays since 1999 and the National Director of Hays Education since 2007. He is responsible for leading experts from 40 offices across the UK who specialise in recruiting for Early Years, Primary, Secondary, SEN, Further Education and Leadership staff on a daily supply, long term supply or permanent basis. His extensive experience is invaluable to ensuring schools, colleges, nurseries, academies and MATs have access to the best possible candidates.

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