With the increased cost of tuition fees more young people are looking at alternative options to further education such as work experience and apprenticeships, though there are questions as to how work ready this generation really are.
88% of businesses believe that school leavers are unprepared for the world of work (British Chambers of Commerce BCC), and more than three quarters of organisations (76%) cite a lack of work experience as the main reason. This along with differences in work ethics and attitudes mean a major skills gap, which then raises questions for future business talent pipelines.
Though there are doubts about the younger generation, when looking a little closer they have a lot to offer compared to their older counterparts. These digital natives have grown up surrounded by ever evolving technology, and can adapt quickly to changing tech and are flexible in terms of switching between systems. Their social media skills means that they are more socially active, can build relationships and have grown up in a culture of sharing information. As well as being fast, ambitious and curious – a combination which can go far, the sky’s the limit for these young minds.
So what can employers do to help bridge the gap, preparing young people for work whilst harnessing the skills that they already have? For starters, more than half of businesses (52%) say they don’t offer work experience placements, so in order to prepare young people for the work place this needs to change. Apprenticeship schemes and mentoring are also great options which benefit everyone involved.
Businesses need to be more willing to give the younger generation a chance, equipping them for their future careers. Plus you never know what these opportunities could lead to – our People Director first joined on her university placement, and is now on the board.