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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Major UK employers sign up to CIPD youth work experience campaign


Leading employers such as Marks & Spencer, Nestle and Deloitte have signed up to a campaign to provide young people with work experience in order to make them more employable.

The aim of the ‘Learning to Work’ initiative, which was launched today by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is to work with both employers and policy-makers in order to try and tackle structural youth unemployment.
The organisation’s quarterly Labour Market Outlook report revealed, for example, that three in 10 UK employers had not hired one single young person over the last year.
As a result, Stephanie Bird, the CIPD’s director of public policy, said that there needed to be a “step change in the relationship and level of engagement” between employers and young people.
“But we also need to move beyond constant complaining about the shortcomings of ‘the youth of today’, to real practical, sleeves-rolled-up engagement by employers to boost the employability and job prospects of young people. This campaign is intended to do just that,” she added.
The scheme is supported by an advisory board comprising a range of public and private sector employers as well as research and consultancy organisations such as the Work Foundation, NHS Employers, the Education and Employers Taskforce and the Greater London Authority.
It aims to encourage employers:
  • To build closer links with schools and colleges
  • Give young people high quality work experience early on in their career
  • Increase the number of access and progression routes into organisations for young people
  • Provide more opportunities for work-based learning as well as vocational education and training
  • Help young jobseekers to navigate the labour market.
The campaign, which will see the publication of a report entitled ‘Learning to Work – Today’s young people, tomorrow’s workforce: Engaging employers in tackling youth unemployment’, is also intended to pull together existing CIPD work under one umbrella.
This work includes guidance for employers on how to run internships, work experience programmes and apprenticeship schemes as well as the pilot ‘Steps Ahead’ mentoring programme that the CIPD is running in the West Midlands with JobCentre Plus.
CIPD members volunteer to mentor young unemployed people in order to help them improve their interview skills, presentation and confidence and so far 65 have taken part. There are plans to extend the initiative across the whole country, however.
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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