Opinion: Youth Employment

Opinion: Chris Jones responds to the Work Foundation's report, 'Lost in Translation'.

07 June 2012 / Be the first to comment

Chris Jones, CEO and Director General of City & Guilds responds to the Work Foundation’s report, ‘Lost in Transition’:

"The Work Foundation released a report, Lost in Transition, which found that more than 450,000 NEETS - young people not in education, employment or training - have never had a regular job. The author of the report, Paul Sissons, said that young people can lack the necessary soft skills, such as "communication, team working and customer service," to qualify them for the jobs available in the service sector. This tells us that there are jobs out there for the taking, yet young people are unable to make the crucial transition from education to employment.

The disconnect between what young people have to offer and what employers require is something which City & Guilds also recently highlighted in our own research report: Ways into Work: Views of children and young people on education and employment. Among other things, the report found that young people want greater emphasis on the practical application of Maths and English in schools. This tells us that employers and young people actually want the same thing: teaching that equips the learner for the workplace and gives the right skills employers say they need to drive economic growth.

However, it is important to acknowledge that this problem doesn’t just apply to school leavers. Unemployment is riding high in the UK across all age groups and older people who have suddenly found themselves out of work are similarly finding that they lack the right skills needed to secure employment again. At City & Guilds, the skills shortage and finding the right solutions for this has been a long-standing concern for us. For this reason we have developed a new employability offering called Work Ready to equip learners with the kinds of skills the Work Foundation identified as key to securing employment. And, perhaps most importantly, Work Ready is designed to suit everyone – no matter what their age, or the current level of their skills."

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Our research reveals that three quarters of young people demand skills-based training to achieve their ambitions Read full research article