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Hire young people, urges HR body
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The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has launched a new campaign designed to generate a step change in employers’ engagement with young people.
Along with leading employers, such as Marks and Spencer, Deloitte, Nestlé, O2 and NHS Employers, the HR body is seeking to improve their employability and job prospects.
According to research conducted by the CIPD, almost three in ten employers did not recruit a single young person in the last year.
As such, the body is seeking to change the attitudes of hirers to people leaving full-time education.
However, the CIPD has repeatedly warned that a focus on short-term spikes in youth unemployment risks masking the more structural problems, which persist in good times and bad.
Stephanie Bird, director of public policy at the body, said the UK needs a step change in the relationship and level of engagement between employers and young people.
"But we also need to move beyond constant complaining about the shortcomings of ‘the youth of today’, to real, practical, sleeves-rolled-up engagement by employers to boost the employability and job prospects of young people," she claimed.
CIPD skills policy adviser Katerina Rüdiger said the real scandal of youth unemployment is not the high headline rates caused by the current weak economy.
"It is the gradual shift that has seen more and more young people struggling to find work in good times and bad," she argued.
“Some of the challenges are quite simple. We know there is a gap between negative perceptions of today’s school and college leavers and the reality of the talents and capabilities they have to offer."
Ms Rüdiger said more needs to be done to help employers recognise the vested interest they have in boosting the job-ready skills of young people, and in boosting the supply of ‘young-people ready jobs’.
"Failure to rise to these challenges risks doing lasting damage to the global competitiveness of UK firms and the ability of the UK to attract investment and global firms to these shores," she added.
Posted by John Lynes
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