Businesses taking on young employees must not expect new recruits to already be the finished article, but should instead invest in their training and development.

That is according to Jez Langhorn, HR director at McDonald's, who believes that the solution to the so-called 'skills gap', which is often cited as a reason for low employment rates among young people, is employer-led training.

Speaking to HR Magazine, he argued that taking on young people can be hugely beneficial for businesses, even if they don't already have all the skills they need to progress in the company.

"Like many businesses in the retail and hospitality sector, we take on thousands of young people each year – many in their first job – and what they may lack in specific skills they more than make up for in enthusiasm and appetite to learn," he said.

"They energise the workplace and allow you to nurture your own talent, build loyalty and boost retention rates."

However, through investing in training, businesses can help new recruits develop the skills they need for success in the long-term.

"No young person is the finished article, and you can't and shouldn't expect this when they join the company," said Mr Langhorn, "This is where employers come in."

He explained that, by offering high-quality training and qualifications, businesses can help people develop transferable skills that strengthen their natural abilities and help them perform better at work.

Training can also lead to broader benefits for the individual too, he claimed, "whether that's accelerated career progression or newfound confidence to try new things in their out-of-work lives".

Meanwhile, employers can take advantage of rostering software to help make sure that the staff on shift at any one time have the right mix of training and ability between them to ensure the smooth running of the business.

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