Youth unemployment

A survey of young people conducted by Business in the Community for Responsible Business Week in partnership with Veolia Environnement, highlighted a need and opportunity for businesses to better support young people at every stage from school to employment.

Findings included:

  • a majority (62%) of 16-24 year olds said that they’re not confident economic recovery will benefit them

  • just 7% of young people are very confident about their career prospects

  • Most young job seekers (51%) say that they’ve received less than one hour's contact time from business

  • 77% of  businesses say they engage young people prior to them entering the workforce through work experience, yet less than 2 in 5 (37%) 16-24 year olds say they have actually benefitted from this type of work placement. 

  • Businesses find it difficult to engage with young people in school, citing barriers such as difficulty in establishing a relationship with the right contact within the school, time pressure on teachers and a lack of structure

To help tackle these barriers and enable businesses to provide meaningful support to young people from school to employment, Business in the Community provides a suite of tools and programmes for businesses:

Provide careers advice and guidance

Business in the Community has developed a new guide to help businesses support career guidance provision in schools. The guide will be launched at the Business Class Symposium on Thursday 3 April and is available online here.

Form long term partnerships with schools with Business Class

Business in the Community, believes that the one of the most effective ways for business to support young people facing social disadvantage is to form long-term partnerships with the schools those young people attend.

Business in the Community’s Business Class programme connects businesses and schools in  three-year structured partnerships. Business Class is effective due to its cluster formation, which partners five businesses to five schools in a local area, enabling businesses to collaborate on ideas, expertise and capacity to ensure each school’s needs are met. Support ranges from helping develop vital employability skills in young people, providing strategic leadership and governance advice, to curriculum support.

There are over 200 participating businesses, supporting over 56,000 young people in 375 schools around the country.

Ensure job vacancies reach all young unemployed people with Generation Talent

Generation Talent is a joint initiative with the Department for Work and Pensions to help businesses recruit more unemployed young people through Jobcentre Plus. Generation Talent helps businesses increase the number of young unemployed people they recruit, and aims to prevent a generation being lost to unemployment. 

Through Generation Talent, a number of UK employers have already identified that by making small changes to their recruitment process they can make 70,000 jobs available to the unemployed.

It enables businesses to:

  • Find out if current recruitment processes automatically sift unemployed applicants out 

  • Reassess what qualifications and experience is really needed for entry level roles and instead emphasise importance of aptitude and attitude during recruitment

  • Advertise roles through Jobcentre Plus, which currently has 912,000 young people seeking employment.  

  • Use the ‘Generation Talent Self-Assessment Tool’ to help managers involved in recruitment identify and tackle any internal bias towards unemployed people during recruitment

  • Receive  bespoke account management service from Jobcentre Plus that centralises an organisation’s regional and national recruitment needs

Deliver meaningful work experience with Work Inspiration

Work Inspiration programme aims to make young people’s first interaction with the world of work more inspiring and meaningful.

Work Inspiration transforms traditional work experience placements into something that gives young people a real and inspiring taste of the world of work. using a A free toolkit toenablecompanies of all sizes to create better structured placements.

Mentoring programmes with Mosaic

Positive aspirations are crucial for young people’s future success; with low aspirations often leading to poor academic attainment and professional achievement. For many young people an ‘aspirations-attainment gap’ is caused by too few role models and a lack of contact with adults in professional roles.

Mosaic is an initiative of Business in the Community whichinspires young people from deprived communities to realise their talents and potential.

Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007, Mosaic create opportunities for young people growing up in our most deprived communities by connecting them with inspiring volunteer mentors from business. By linking young people with inspirational role models in this way, we boost their confidence, self-efficacy and long-term employability.

Tackling youth unemployment internationally through YCI

The International Tourism Partnership’s Youth Career Initiative (YCI) is an innovative, high-impact approach to combating global youth unemployment through work placements in the hotel industry. YCI works with young people who are unlikely to have a viable route into legitimate employment and improve their situation without external help.

The programme enrolls students in work placements in some of the world’s leading hotel companies, where they learn transferable life and work skills that often lead to long term employment. In turn, hotel companies gain a much needed supply of commited, well trained talent.