As the CIPD celebrates its 100 year anniversary this week, HR professionals are being urged to put their expertise to good use to help tackle high levels of youth unemployment – at a time when some employers are struggling to find recruits. Inspiring the Future matches volunteers with local state secondary schools and colleges to help students with their CVs, conduct mock interviews and give them a greater understanding of how they can prepare for an apprenticeship and the world of work.
CIPD research has found that there is currently a huge mismatch between employers and young people at the recruitment stage. The report, ‘Employers are from Mars, young people are from Venus: Addressing the young people/jobs mismatch’, highlighted the lack of careers advice and guidance in schools as one of the core problems. Many young people are leaving education without an understanding of the world of business and unsure about how to write a CV or prepare for a job interview. As a result they are failing to meet employers’ expectations – an issue Inspiring the Future, run by the charity Education and Employers Taskforce, is helping to tackle.
Endorsing the initiative, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said: “So many companies are doing brilliant work to give young people from all walks of life a chance to reach their career goals. I launched the Inspiring the Future initiative last year and saw for myself the real value the scheme has for young people. The CIPD have championed this work for the HR profession, demonstrating that by joining the combined power of schools and business, we can inspire future generations.”
Commenting, Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, said: “When we started 100 years ago, a key issue facing society was how to get children out of factories and in to schools. In these days of universal education, there are instead questions about whether we are doing enough to prepare our young people for the world of work. We, in business, can’t just sit on the sidelines complaining. If we want young people to leave school enthusiastic about working in our industries, and ready to find work or an apprenticeship, we need to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in. HR professionals are particularly well placed to advise young people on how to approach applications or job interviews and by signing up to Inspiring the Future, you are making a powerful contribution to building the workforce we need for the next 100 years.”
Also commenting, Nick Chambers, Director of the Education and Employers Taskforce, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with CIPD and that they have decided to celebrate their 100th anniversary with a major initiative to help young people get better insights into the world of work. With over 130,000 members the CIPD has the capacity to reach employers of all sizes and sectors across the country.”
Currently, over 1,600 state schools and colleges across England are signed up to Inspiring the Future, but more volunteers are urgently required to meet the demand from schools. A separate CIPD report found that more than two thirds (61%) of employers have expressed willingness to be more involved in the education system* and this scheme provides one way for them to do this.
Inspiring the Future matches schools to volunteers via an easy to use online portal. Once signed up, volunteers will be contacted by participating state schools and colleges in order to deliver short interview and CV workshops or career insight talks.
The CIPD has also been working with Job Centre Plus to provide one-to-one mentoring to unemployed 18-24 year olds. The Steps Ahead Mentoring project is operating in a number of regions across the country and has so far matched more than 1,500 volunteers with young people. The project offers young people, most of whom have never worked before, one-to-one mentoring sessions to help them improve their employability skills, boost their confidence and, most importantly, find work.