Bringing young people and employers together

The Mix Staff
workshop with young people and employers

I’ve just come back from a really interesting and energetic event we hosted this morning as part of our employability Cycle of Innovation. This creative session was all about bringing together six young people from our Job Squad with business leaders and third sector organisations to think about how digital can support young people on their employability journeys.

This was the beginning of a collaborative process that we hope will produce concepts for innovative new digital tools to support young people. And we’d welcome your input. If you weren’t able to make the event, you can read more about it below, and let us know what you in the comments at the bottom of the page.

Britney persona drawing

At the event we used personas – characters that the Job Squad created in our first session with them – to think about youth employability from both perspectives: the young person’s and the employer’s. Through bringing these different groups and perspectives together, we were able to explore the employability landscape of young people like Britney:

We’re still processing the wealth of insight that we produced this morning, and I’m sure we’ll share about it in some detail very soon. But I just wanted to share a few insights while they’re still fresh:

  • Support mechanisms for young people’s employability often evaporate when they transition from formal education, but this is a daunting time when they really need support;
  • Young people often seem to have freedom in the career choices they make, but this is actually constrained. Their needs aren’t just around employability, but the emotional, geographical or financial constraints they face to achieving their goals;
  • Your attitude is really important to employers when you’re applying for jobs: they’re looking for positivity, passion and commitment as well as capability;
  • Employers fear that young people are eager to learn, but difficult to teach;
  • Job seekers always want feedback, but employers are time poor and don’t have anyone whose responsibility it is to give advice. Their career sites are about promoting vacancies, not supporting young people’s employability. So how can digital facilitate feedback from time poor business to young people?

That’s just a snapshot of what we came up with this morning. Now it’s over to you. What do you think are the biggest challenges for businesses in recruiting and retaining young recruits?

Let us know your answers in the comments below, and help us keep the discussion going!


Published on 28-Mar-2014