According to a new study, major industries are facing a talent shortage in particular job roles because these posts are not seen as attractive to young people coming through the education system.

However, these are the roles that have been highlighted by the government as crucial to economic recovery, indicating that without a certain amount of hunger for careers in these areas, the country could remain deprived of growth and economic security for a longer than expected period.

And, while it is clear that in the future there probably will be a talent shortage in these roles, more importantly we have to look at the situation now and ask ourselves how we can address this gap. The gap is this: the government is committed to filling certain vital job roles, but needs graduates and students to want to fill them. Graduates and students, however, are committed to other areas of business and currently have little ambition to help the government meet its short-term objectives. While, younger members of society will no doubt want to help pull the country out of recession, right now there is a lack of commitment to the specific way that the government wants this to happen.

Commitment is crucial if objectives are to be met, so the job for the government and industry is to align their goals with those of the UK’s young. The first step though, is to simply recognise that the gap exists, and that by bridging that gap objectives can and will be met.

In this case, the research by Magnified Learning has shown that 14 to 15 year olds see the essential job roles as “boring” and would much rather a job in the media or something more creative. There is no point in the government coercing or pushing youngsters into roles that they don’t want to perform either, this also requires commitment from all parties.

What the government can and must do, is understand what exactly it is that these people want from the working world, essentially there needs to be a large amount of intense listening going on, so that people are properly heard and understood.

There may well be elements of the dream job that young students envisage working in that can be carried across to the roles that are currently seen as “boring”. Or, there may be the opportunity to better communicate and explain the details of the “boring” jobs so that youngsters view them in a different light.

It’s the same process that needs to be taking place across companies and organisations every single day, because is leaders want to implement new strategies and drive change throughout the workplace, they will always meet a level of resistance. The trick is to be able to identify resistance, and then have a strategy in place that eventually wins total buy-into new plans – because successful implantation is dependent on levels of commitment throughout the business.

Elva Ainsworth
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