DESPITE record numbers now in work, many young people are Neets – not in education, employment or training.
But the charity Movement to Work is trying to help, offering a chance to gain experience at leading employers.
It has delivered 80,000 placements over the past five years, with half of youngsters going on to paying jobs — or back to college.
Employers taking part range from small local firms to big names such as Diageo, Barclays, BT, Bupa, Centrica, HSBC, IBM, Marks & Spencer, Marriott International, NHS, Tesco, Unilever and Wates.
The scheme also helps reduce employers’ recruitment costs.
Employment minister Alok Sharma says 32.6million Brits are now in work, and youth unemployment has almost halved since 2010.
ROB O’CONNOR was raised on a council estate in Ireland where crime and unemployment was rife.
He suffered a family bereavement at 11, was plunged into anxiety and depression and left school in Cork with few qualifications.
But after being unemployed for three years, Rob moved to the UK aged 19 and signed up with Movement to Work, where he landed a placement with management consultants Accenture. The firm was so impressed by Rob that he won a place on its Technology Apprenticeship Programme and is now a qualified software engineer about to complete a degree in digital and technology solutions.
Rob was recently honoured with a Movement to Work Rising Star award, for inspiring others with his achievements. He has been nominated twice for the Accenture Apprentice of the Year award and was shortlisted for Young Engineer of the Year 2018.
Rob, 25, now living in London, said: “The placement gave me an insight into the corporate world, and allowed me to see that I could be part of it.
“I had great feedback, which fed my new-found confidence further.
“I treated the placement like a three-week interview – I knew that everything about me was being relayed to Accenture’s recruitment people. I gave everything I had.”
But he added: “I am determined to ensure that every young person has the opportunity to benefit from a stable job. I pay tribute to Movement to Work and all the employers involved, who are delivering the skill sets and work prospects which young people want.”
Ivan Menezes, chairman of Movement to Work and chief executive of drinks firm Diageo, said: “We believe in the potential of all young people and know, by providing placements and other opportunities that lead to meaningful work, we can support them to fulfil their potential.”
Change for life
Help change the world with an apprenticeship at a non-profit organisation.
London’s Queen Mary University has launched the country’s first undergraduate apprenticeship degree in social change. Designed for trainees who want to join a charity, voluntary organisation or social enterprise, they will earn as they learn, mixing classroom study with real-world work.
Mind, the British Red Cross, Samaritans, Prince’s Trust and Scout Association are among the bodies signed up.
Dr Patrick McGurk, the lead academic for the degree, said: “The non-profit and voluntary sector often under-publicise careers for graduates. Until now, no undergraduate programme has met this sector’s needs.”
- Jobspot: Clothing chain Monsoon has 54 jobs on offer, including roles in shops and at head office. See monsoonjobs.com.
Tech on women
WOMEN make up just 15 per cent of staff in top science, technology, engineering and maths jobs – known as STEM roles – according to research by audit firm PWC.
LAUREN KISSER, director of Amazon’s cloud storage arm AWS S3, gives her tips for women to make it to the top in tech…
- APPLY, APPLY, APPLY: Industry research shows women tend only to apply when they meet all the criteria, while men may feel they only need to meet some of the criteria. If you don’t ask, you won’t get.
- MAKE TIME TO LEARN: Dedicating time to learn skills doesn’t need to be a huge commitment. Podcasts, videos and books can be a great way to learn while commuting.
- FIND A MENTOR AND BE A MENTOR: Whether formal or informal, a strong role model providing guidance is key. Then be that person yourself.
- DON’T DWELL ON MISTAKES: Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them. Focus on the learning rather than the mistake.
- LEARN THE “I” WORD: Don’t downplay your accomplishments by hiding behind “we” or “team”. Saying “I” will clearly articulate your role in that success.
- PLAN WITH INTENTION: Thinking “intentionally” helps to reduce anxiety and make us happier. Planning your career two or three steps ahead is a great way to start.
Leave it out, Tel
Nineties TV star Terry Christian has caused a row after claiming companies should sack Leavers first if there is an economic downturn after Brexit. But can bosses sack Brexiteers first?
Joanne Wells, an employment law consultant for business support firm ELAS Group, explains: “Is it legal? Of course not. Political belief is not explicitly protected under the Equality Act in Great Britain. But a political belief can possibly be held to be a philosophical belief, so in some circumstances there is a possibility that there could be protection for this.”
She adds: “Simply voting to leave the EU is not grounds enough to dismiss someone. We live in a democratic society with people having the right to vote however they wish.”