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Teens – an employer’s dream workforce?

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Self-motivated and understanding the importance of hard-work – tomorrow’s workforce could be an employer’s dream if the findings of the latest poll by the Learning and Skills Council are to be believed.

According to the LSC’s Success Report 2004, 93% of 14-19-year-olds believe happiness, not money, is the key to success, while two-thirds (62 per cent) recognised hard work as the driving force behind achievement.

More than two-thirds said they were prepared to train for two-to-four years to achieve their goals. While the average teenager expected to have figured out a chosen career by the age of 18, and ‘achieved their ambitions’ by 27.

Over a third of young people (36 per cent) nominated themselves as the source of this pressure to succeed, followed by their mother (22 per cent).

Part of this positive outlook focused on the role young people and their parents believe employers should play in supporting their careers. Ninety-one per cent of both teenagers and their parents believed employers should help them gain the necessary career qualifications if they do not already have them.

The LSC said such high expectations for employer assistance, in any form from financial to advisory, will change the way employers attract, and maximise, their future workforce.

Stephen Gardner, director of work-based learning at the Learning and Skills Council, said: “We see work-based qualifications, such as apprenticeships, rising in importance for employers looking for ways to attract and retain bright young people within their businesses.

“These are young people who are not, according to their own priorities, motivated primarily by money but by feeling valued, supported and personally fulfilled within their jobs.”

The most popular career choices appeared to match the goals of personal fulfilment in favour of large salaries with young people most likely to want a career as carers or within the media (16 per cent each) compared with working with money (5 per cent) or in engineering (4 per cent).

Key Findings
· Success is happiness – 93% believe ‘doing something you enjoy is more important than making a lot of money’. Only 6% see lots of money in the bank as a sign of success.
· Employer assistance – 91% of both young people and their parents believe employers should help young employees gain qualifications if they do not already have them.
· Training is key – More than two-thirds (70%) of young people are prepared to train for between two and four years to achieve the ambitions to build a firm foundation for the future

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