By Laurence Griffin
In February, Laurence wrote about the barriers and difficulties faced when looking for work. Here, he briefly shares some of his reflections and possible solutions to this problem.
Many careers service providers (often accessed by young people) are far too generic in the ‘careers advice’ they offer. Telling people where to find jobs, not to dress too casually for an interview and expecting people to know what they want is simply not careers advice. The Government has been painfully slow in recognising this, but there have finally been some debates in the Select Committee dealing with this area, and I look forward to seeing the recommendations to turn this around.
We need to heavily adopt informal education throughout the educational system and careers service providers. Young people need regular reviews throughout their learning journey on interests that spark from extracurricular activities. Furthermore, they need the opportunity to consider how this reflects on their academic attainment/achievement and what, ultimately, this means in terms of career direction going forwards.
We need to move away from regimented soulless testing/box ticking, the negativity from society and the support ending the moment you leave the education system. Instead we should adopt a far greater personalised approach to teaching and preparing young people for the realities of employment. Employers need to work collaboratively on how they engage with recruitment, observe and advise what the education system should be doing to make young people employable. This should be done through proper employability training actually incorporated into both the curriculum and service providers and being given proper direction with what they see as their professional working life. Employers do not know what they are missing out on through not properly engaging with improving the system we have at present.
We need to build resilience into young people from the onset, teaching them real life skills from at least the start of secondary school. To enable young people to survive they need to feel equipped and prepared to pursue a meaningful, proper career they know has been taught and tailored for them.