Tomorrow’s talent aren’t ready for the world of work
Blog title V2
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TOMORROW’S TALENT AREN’T READY FOR THE WORLD OF WORK
On Friday 15th July, we marked World Youth Skills Day, which the UN observes “to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship”. It’s firmly in the interest of organisations to ensure that those entering employment are equipped with the required skills and that opportunities are afforded to them.
However, in a recent poll run by Hays on LinkedIn, 69% of the 17,640 respondents said that young people don’t have the necessary skills to enter the world of work.
Elsewhere, we also asked what is preventing young people from gaining the necessary skills to secure employment. Almost half of the 12,500 respondents claimed that a lack of relevant opportunities was the main barrier to achieving this, while 28% of respondents believed that careers and skills insights were not readily available.
The growing skills gap is a critical business concern for all companies, regardless of industry or location. How can forward-thinking organisations shift the dial on learning and development?
Developing skills while in education
The pandemic has not only had a hugely negative impact on those in education, but also on their work experience opportunities. Many young people have missed out on a previously “conventional” introduction to the working world, while organisations are still discovering how to operate in the new era of work, which in turn makes it harder to integrate newcomers.
Hays work closely with our partners Manchester City Football Club on their City in the Community programme. We have recently been involved with workshops for students at a college in Greater Manchester, profiling careers in sustainability and the green economy and the capabilities that employers require for these types of roles. This helps to provide young people with invaluable skills and experience to prepare them for the world of work. Our staff have also volunteered in other secondary schools and colleges around the UK, supporting students with these skills and providing insight to help them with future choices.
Businesses too can play their part. By working with educators, it’s possible to reshape the curriculum so that it is relevant for the post-pandemic era. As Hays CEO, Alistair Cox discussed in 2020, business leaders must take responsibility for this; after all, they are uniquely placed to share their guidance so that students understand which skills are in demand and how they might develop these.
In the UK, our Inspire programme aims to tackle precisely this. We’re providing school pupils with learning materials that inform them of career pathways and contributions from employers on the skills required to get on in the world of work.
Offering additional support once in work
But what about those young people who have already kickstarted their careers?
We’ve spoken before about the importance of tackling the assumption that entry-level hires will subconsciously know how to navigate an organisation. We often hear from Graduates, Apprentices and School Leavers who state that they felt ‘lost’ during this time and would have benefited from a clearer understanding of the skills needed to succeed.
Making sure that you invest in junior employees’ growth is key if we are to close the skills gap and prepare the workforce of tomorrow for the challenges ahead. What opportunities are available within your organisation? How much hands-on experience do you provide to your entry-level staff?
Do you offer mentoring and coaching? It’s important to consider not only those skills you can offer to these employees, but those that they offer to you.
To further ensure that everybody benefits, some organisations implement a two-way mentorship scheme in which senior and junior colleagues train one another with relevant skills and knowledge. This boosts these employees’ confidence in two ways: firstly, by allowing them to develop useful skills and, secondly, by proving that their current skillset and experience is of real value to yourself and others.
Building a culture of continuous learning
Organisations must create and champion a culture of learning.
Training is often ‘front-loaded’ to equip new entrants with the skills they need to perform their role. However, we are all only human and our ability to absorb information is limited. Instead, the focus must shift to the timely delivery of essential information in a modular format, giving individuals access to the information they need, at time that is relevant to their development.
If employees understand that continuous learning is a prerequisite for success, they will be more receptive to upskilling and reskilling throughout their career.
Leaders must consider how they can effectively integrate training. Fortunately, the pandemic has forced us all to ‘think digital’. A number of providers now offer a fully online experience, including Thrive by Hays. Bespoke onboarding and training courses can equip your workforce with the skills needed to adapt to the changing world of work.
Plan today, benefit tomorrow.
If organisations want to reap the rewards of our future pipeline of talent, they must take responsibility for adequately preparing young people for the working world, nurturing them on arrival and encouraging them to continually challenge and develop their skillsets.
Failing to do so risks missing out on the skills and knowledge that these people have, which are becoming increasingly valuable and relevant in the digital age.
For advice on developing your Early Careers strategy, speak to the team at Enterprise Solutions today.
This blog was originally published on Hays Viewpoint. Click here to view the article.