Is the next generation well-equipped to land jobs?

Is the next generation well-equipped to land jobs?

A new survey by recruitment company Adecco has brought to light what appears to be a contributory element to the current youth unemployment crisis.
Figures show a worrying gap between the amount of jobs applied for, and the number of interviews subsequently secured, by those aged 16-24. On average, job seekers in this age group applied for eleven jobs during the last twelve months but were invited to interview only twice. One in ten didn't secure an interview at all.

16-24 year olds in education assume their job-hunting activity will take around six months before they land a full-time role. However, the survey showed this belief was unfounded, and that it takes far longer. One of the problems, according to Adecco, is that few youngsters find the time or inclination to maximise practical experience whilst embroiled in their studies.

With a quarter of 16-19 year olds having never even applied for a job, Adecco's study points to a proportion of young people who lack job-hunting knowledge and skills. Given that a quarter of young people report a distinct lack of career advice and education within school, those approaching recruitment agencies may desperately need guidance of this kind to gain full-time employment.

Says Alex Fleming, Managing Director of Adecco, "Our research shows that young people are not hitting the ground running when leaving school or university. Whilst they might feel confident in their studies, they do not feel they have the experience required to actually secure a job."

Barclays LifeSkills head, Kirstie Mackey, agrees. She said, "We know many young people already have plenty of key skills; they just need support to understand how to put them into practice."

Can recruitment agencies be the bridge between businesses looking to inject new blood into their organisations and this sea of young talent that lacks 'work readiness'?

Tom Hadley, REC Director of Policy and Professional Services, believes so. He says, "Youth unemployment is one of the biggest issues this country faces. Agencies can play an active role in helping young jobseekers. Recruiters, as experts in their local labour markets, are perfectly placed to reach out to the next generation of workers and reduce local youth employment. They can make a real difference to the lives of young people."

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