NEET INCREASE AND OPPORTUNITIES DROPPING
Today’s youth represent current and future employees, consumers and investors. The supply of young talent is critical for businesses and communities to grow and develop. And so results released in February 2023 by the National Statistics showing an estimated 788,000 of 16 to 24 years, not in education, training or employment - an increase of 64,000, from the results recorded from July to September 2022 - are a major concern.
If this trend continues, this is an issue not only for young adults themselves but for businesses and the community in general. It will lead to skill and labour shortages for businesses and a generation of missed opportunity for young people in many communities. As such it’s vital that employment for the younger generation becomes a priority for society as a whole.
Although we have not yet hit the all-time highs of 2010/11 following the recession, the current trend is something to keep an eye on. The Full Fact British UK Charity has highlighted that job opportunities are falling overall, with the ONS reporting a vacancy decrease on the quarter by 51,000 vacancies. As total opportunities decrease, available figures could correlate and youth unemployment increase.
Although overall NEET rates remain low in historic terms – and are well below the rates seen in the aftermath of the financial crisis – this uptick in recent months is concerning.” Resolution Foundation.
There is also an issue specifically affecting the UK. Whilst most leading economies have recovered their workforces, the UK still has about 400,000 more people not working than in December 2019, as reported by the BBC.
The latest budget has been released to hopefully support UK workforce issues. But this is very much a challenge which the UK should be concerned about, in terms of youth employment and for the recovery of the UK workforce.
SPEED TO HIRE CHALLENGE
It’s not just the number of opportunities for young people which is a concern. There has been talk regarding the in-between stage, where young adults get stuck between leaving study and finding their first job position. This is the period between applying for jobs and interviews, to actually starting the job. The average reported time for this is 5 months, but most who apply for jobs will know it can take a lot longer.
GOVERNMENT SCHEME CONCERNS
Successive Governments have acknowledged the problem of youth unemployment and launched schemes to help address this.
Most recently, during the pandemic, the Government planned to support many young people at risk of long-term unemployment with the Kickstart scheme that started in 2020. Results reported by the BBC showed that the original prediction of supporting 250,000 youngsters was not reached and it was not measured whether the scheme had a lasting legacy supporting young people.
Whilst each scheme should be applauded, the ultimate measure of success is how each scheme truly impacts the young generation and whether youngsters retained their roles.
HOW WE CAN TURN THIS AROUND
The impact of youth unemployment affects everyone and without the upskilling of the younger generation gaps in the workforce will surface. Companies will struggle and the enthusiasm and new ideas that the younger generation bring will be absent from the workplace.
However, there is no simple fix to youth unemployment and each situation is unique. Some youngsters need support to turn away from a life of crime, whereas others may have graduated with diplomas and degrees but are still struggling to find the right opportunity for them.
Here we run through three key ways that The Shore Group are addressing the challenges faced and how other businesses can support too. Importantly, we share some ideas about how we can support you if you are currently NEET or about to leave education and are unsure about your next steps.
WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH WBC CARES UK AND YOUTH CENTRE RENOVATION
The Shore Group works closely with partnership charities that look to change young adults' lives. One of those charities is WBC Cares UK. They currently run projects and sessions supporting young people into fitness, group interactions and employment opportunities in the view of changing lives. A lot who reach out to them are in difficult situations whether being pulled into crime, or struggling to find opportunities for themselves so it is vital for WBC Cares to do the work that they do.
Current projects include the renovations at the Brighton and Hove Boxing Gym, transforming the current space into a Youth Centre, which The Shore Group has supported via volunteering and funding. Not only will the Youth Centre support young adults but also the local homeless community with a built-in kitchen, offering warm meals.
With Jobcentre support changing as part of the ‘Back To Work Budget’ more young people aged 16-24 on Universal Credit will be able to see a work coach in a Youth Hub or benefit from Youth Employability Coaches. This is where Youth Centres and Hubs like the one being renovated at the Brighton and Hove Boxing Gym are vital to our communities.
The Lords’ Committee Report found ‘young people in the UK were not receiving enough support to get into work’. One of the many problems on the list were the lack of apprenticeship opportunities for young people.
Apprenticeships are a great gateway into careers, but also from a business perspective to train individuals up, especially in sectors where highly skilled workers are diminishing. Apprentices can work alongside current high-skilled workers eventually growing into leaders themselves, filling management positions when the need to fill arrives.
The Shore Group has always been an advocate for apprentices with many present within the company, and many current employees who have been through the apprenticeship system, having progressed from entry roles at The Shore Group to now being in management positions, with teams to manage and support themselves.
We spoke to one of our apprentices Jasmine Richardson, who works in our Compliance Department about their experience at The Shore Group, and why an apprenticeship was the gateway for her.
What I have enjoyed the most about being here is getting to know everyone as they have been so welcoming, and it has been easy to settle in. As well as learning all about The Shore Group as there are so many different areas of the business to learn about. The Shore Group does a lot of social activities, from volunteering to lunches and evenings out together which I have enjoyed. The leadership team have managed and led my development and inspire me in my own career watching what they have achieved.When looking for an apprenticeship, coming here for my interview I knew this was the environment I would want to work in, I had known of people working at The Shore Group so it was reassuring to know what it would be like and that I would be in good hands.
At The Shore Group, we have found apprentices bringing longevity to their roles and loyalty to the business that helps shape and build their careers. We have individuals within our company that started their careers as apprentices from the age of 17, who 9 years later are still here.
Jasmine Richardson, our Compliance Apprentice explains from an apprentice’s perspective the benefits of going into an apprenticeship:
I’m personally an advocate for other people doing an apprenticeship because if you are not enjoying college or study, apprenticeships give you the opportunity to go straight into work and give you that head start into a career, widening your ideas of what you want to do. Without The Shore Group, I would still be stuck on where I would want to go, and never would have learnt all about Compliance as an option for a career.
Our Co-Founder Lewis Yorke-Johnson has always been a strong believer in apprenticeships and from his own experience understands why this guidance is so important, watch his insights caught on video.
WHITE-COLLAR RECRUITMENT FOR GRADUATES
For graduates in the position of finding a job after study, working with a recruitment consultant can be a valuable option. If you struggle to find the right opportunities or maybe find yourself falling short and not understanding why, White-Collar consultants can support your career journey.
They can work with you to understand the type of opportunities suited to your skills and match these with their database of current positions and clientele. What’s more, they can give you great advice for putting your best foot forward with your CV and insider information on what the client is looking for.
SHAPING YOUR CAREER
The Shore Group has worked with many apprentices and employees alike to shape their careers. It’s important to remember just because you enter a business in one position does not mean your career is stuck in one place. For example, we have had apprentices enter the business into resourcing or business admin and now work in Compliance or IT.
If you know someone wants to get into Sales and they’re driven and they’re hungry, and that’s their mentality and that’s what they are good at and excel at. We’ll give them all the tools, all the training, all the support and all the mentoring to go and flourish and conquer their area in Sales…If someone wants to start with us in Credit Control. We can create opportunities within Credit Control.Because we are growing as a group and growing as a business and there are lots of different things happening all the time, we can talk to people about, how we create a new team, whether we expand the team, whether that team splits and half looks after one business and half looks after the other business, people might work across several businesses within the group. So that makes it really exciting.
James Hobden Co-Founder, taken from a video interview discussing the available opportunities and how The Shore Group shapes careers.
The Power of Partnership
Working in partnership with charities and training providers provides a great opportunity to collectively support the challenges the UK is facing. If we don’t act on the figures, reports of skill shortages will become prominent and challenges will arrive affecting communities, candidates and businesses. There are so many ways everyone can get involved in changing the challenges into positive action moving forward.
If you’re looking for employment opportunities contact our office at 01273 465636, we have consultants in a range of departments who will be able to help you find the right opportunity for example in construction or retail. Furthermore, our White-Collar services if you are a graduate or looking for career progression.
If you are a young adult wanting to take part in the WBC Cares UK sessions at the Brighton and Hove Boxing Gym on a Friday to help with your fitness and employability, contact them directly at email@example.com.