Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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No More Saturday Jobs

UKCES

As the problem of youth unemployment persists it seems there is even more bad news.

There has been a decline in the number of Saturday jobs available for young people to gain a foothold in the job market. A Saturday job has long been a right of passage for many young people and is often their first experience in the working world. Many older generations will have a funny tale to tell relating to their experiences. Apart from providing pocket money and some amusing memories however, they are a very important way for young people to gain key work experience.

Often a Saturday job is neglected on applications for jobs in later lives, but for some time it is likely to serve a useful purpose to prospective employers looking for a time when you evidenced good customer service, for example, or commitment to a role. With the economy's continuing recession harming the sectors which traditionally provided such jobs for young people it has become increasingly difficult for younger people to find part time employment.

The Youth Employment Challenge published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), highlighted that the number of full-time learners (aged 16 to 17) who also have evening or weekend jobs has halved in the past 15 years from four in ten in the late 1990s to two in ten at present. There also seems to be a trend towards advertising positions by word of mouth rather than by more organised methods. This has disadvantaged young jobseekers who don't always learn of such positions. The problem has worsened over the last seven years. It is now at a point where employers are being asked to take some responsibility. UKCES want employers to think about their recruitment strategies and in particular what they plan on doing to alleviate the problem of youth unemployment. This approach serves everyone as the well advised employer knows that it needs to ensure that it has a constant supply of talent especially if it has future growth plans.

Employers need to understand the value that can be derived from young employees. There is a great opportunity to groom younger workers and to teach them the culture of your business before they are hampered by any others. This could well lead to increased levels of loyalty and greater rewards for the company that take on their workers young. In this spirit, the UKCES has published a guide to help employers understand how to harness youth talent: 'Grow your own: how young people can work for you.

There is often a misconception that it is only really larger employers who have the power to help but that simply isn't true. The UKCES's guide has ideas for companies of all sizes and budgets. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Skills Adviser, Katerina Rüdiger, said: "we support the call for every employer to draw up their own youth policy to help bring more young people into the workforce, but this will be no mean feat and will only be achieved if we achieve a step change in the underlying culture that underpins recruitment and people management practices in the majority of organisations."

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