How employers can get involved
Much of Talent Match’s success can be put down to the good links it builds with local employers. We’ve worked with big chains like McDonald’s and B&M as well as smaller family run shops on the high street. Without this engagement from employers there would be many more young people still looking for a job.
So how do these employers engage with the project? There are many ways that businesses can get involved and do their bit to reduce youth unemployment but to make it easier for employers to see what options are available we’ve listed some below. Some employers do one of these things, others do more than one, but all of them make a big difference in driving up employment.
Perhaps the most common way to get involved is to become a work experience provider. You can see some more details about this on our employers resource page here under CSR.
There are plenty of good reasons to become a work experience provider, some of which are below.
Work experience can be anything from a taster session for a day to several weeks worth of work either part time or full time. The usual amount of time is one to two weeks and if the person is on benefits then the job centre will need to be informed, either by the employer of the person looking to undertake work experience, so that the place of work can be approved as a provider. This is just to ensure that it is a real place of work that complies with health and safety (among other) regulations and not a fictional business they’ve invented whilst still claiming their benefit.
Apprenticeships are a great way for people earn while they learn and it’s a popular way for employers to train up their work force from the ground up. They can last from 1 to 4 years, depending on the qualification being studied, and businesses that operate within a technical field can create apprenticeship training programmes that can help to improve the industry as a whole, driving up the quality of British business as the future work force is up-skilled.
Through an apprenticeship businesses work with training providers who will handle the coursework aspect of an apprenticeship. Employers must provide a study day as part of the placement which can either be classroom based, with the training provider, or in the work place.
If you don’t have the capacity for providing work experience and don’t have the need for an apprentice then it may be possible that your business can provide opportunities for training. Talent Match has experience working with local businesses to create bespoke training specific to the workplace.
This can be geared towards types of businesses that we know are coming into the area so that good candidates are waiting for the employer when they arrive and start hiring. When Talent Match heard that a new coffee shop was opening in Lichfield we made an arrangement with The Coffee House, an existing business, to have beneficiaries trained in the arts of being a Barrista. The training took a couple of hours but provided the beneficiaries with useful experience.
Many businesses, particularly retail outlets, have key times of the year when they are hiring staff for short term contracts, Christmas being an obvious such season. Employers can use this time to do some good as well as meeting hiring needs. By approaching organisations like Talent Match they will get staff that are not only keen to work but who may not have much work experience and who, off the back of the time spent doing seasonal work, will be much better placed to continue securing paid employment.
Youth Friendly Hiring Practices
Making room in standard hiring practices to make it easier for younger people to apply is a simple and cost effective way to do some good whilst doing something you were already doing. Such practices may include
- Guidance included as part of an application pack
- Feedback to those not shortlisted for interview so that they can improve and better their chances.
- Feedback from interviews
- Personal specification based on skills and qualities, not just previous experience.
Giving younger people a chance to prove themselves and allowing your own business practice to improve by being socially aware is a win for both young job seekers and UK business.
One of the hardest parts of getting a job is succeeding at the interview stage and it can be a long, hard, dispiriting journey gaining experience and learning what to say and do by applying and being unsuccessful. Prior experience, via mock interviews, can demystify the process and give people the opportunity to develop good interview skills in a safe environment without fear of rejection.
Talent Match works with a wide range of people from a diverse mix of backgrounds. Unfortunately these backgrounds are sometimes very hard and a key part of the Talent Match journey is helping people get to a place in their life where they are ready to work. This might mean helping a homeless person find a home or supporting someone living hand to mouth get clothes for work and interviews. Businesses, like Tesco, have donated goods which we can then pass on to needy beneficiaries such as cooking implements and clothes for interview.
Sign up to Youth Employment UK and other organisations:
There are all sorts of places to get help and advice in hiring younger adults and one of the leading voices of youth employment is Youth Employment UK. On their website (which is included among our Resources for Employers here) you will find articles, videos and advice that you can access for free. You can also sign up as a member of Youth Employment UK and help champion progressive hiring practices that help to reduce one of the UK’s biggest problems of the 21st century.
For more information about youth friendly social responsibility you can download a copy of the Talent Match charter A5 booklet which covers the topics of Recruitment, Development, Pay and Conditions and Providing Opportunities.