It’s not always easy getting a foothold in the world of work.  Schools and universities may give young people the right qualifications to do work, but that doesn’t mean they’re equipping them with the skills they need to land a job – or to keep one long enough to see real progress.

For some, the challenges are especially tough.  Some young people – such as those with disabilities or the long-term unemployed – can find it even harder than usual to start a rewarding career.

As a large British business, we have a responsibility to educate and create opportunities for young people who are struggling to make a start in life. So we recently began a six-week pilot scheme to help bring them closer to a promising future.

Which skills can job-seekers learn?

During three weeks of classroom-based training, our Learning and Development team has been helping enthusiastic young job-seekers to understand and develop the real-world skills that aren’t always explicitly taught in colleges and schools.

It’s not just a case of promoting the qualities that many of us take for granted, such as time-keeping and reliability.

It’s also a chance to nurture and encourage the attributes that employers are really interested in:

  • a positive work ethic,
  • an understanding of customers,
  • and a high level of communication and collaboration in a team.

Once our young go-getters have finished their training, they’ll move on to a three-week placement in one of our business units, from distribution and engineering to customer relations and home installations.

As well as gaining first-hand experience of a real working environment, they’ll also add valuable weight to their CVs: hard evidence of their employability that will help them whether they choose to stay with us or not.

More programmes for youth

We’re not the only organisation that’s getting stuck in at the ground level.  Charities like Young Enterprise are helping more than 250,000 young people every year to develop their business skills through practical classes and projects.

And organisations such as the British Council are promoting international connections that help young people all over the world improve their employability.

Has your business been involved with an employability scheme?  Would you consider taking part? Let us know on Google+ or LinkedIn.

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