Today's Guest Blog comes from Tom Neil, Senior Guidance Writer at Acas. Here you can learn all about their #newtowork campaign and what employers and their younger employees need to know.
At this time of year, thousands of young people are receiving their A-level or GCSE exam results. It’s exciting for people getting their results and their families. Decisions need to be made on what to do and where to go next; decisions that will have a huge bearing on their lives and their future career and life paths.
It is also an excellent opportunity for employers to try to attract younger workers to their organisations. There has been much talk recently about promoting the alternatives to higher education. Focussing younger people towards acquiring the skills and qualifications that employers want and need rather than just assuming that several years at university is the way forward. Many employers are now trying to recruit younger workers into roles that include good career development opportunities or an apprenticeship programme that leads to a valuable qualification.
But why should employers want to employ younger workers? Firstly, an age diverse workforce can encourage creativity and foster further innovation in the workplace with younger workers providing a different perspective on the issues facing an organisation. If done well, this can also foster a successful succession planning process, with younger workers learning the necessary skills and behaviours from their more experienced colleagues to allow the business to continue to operate effectively when staff change roles or decide to move on.
Secondly, employing younger workers at this early stage of their careers means that an employer is able to tailor their learning and qualifications around areas that the business will benefit most from in the future. Additionally, with the implementation of the apprenticeship levy, it becomes even more important for organisations paying it to seriously consider how they can get the most back from the system.
However, recruiting younger workers often means taking on people with limited or no workplace experience. Moving from a school environment into the world of work can be a big change, which some can initially struggle with. Many employers therefore do have legitimate concerns about this transitional period, the potential impact it may have on productivity and how effectively younger workers would work alongside their colleagues.
It is partly due to these concerns that Acas has produced a variety of resources for employers, managers and even younger workers themselves. This includes a free online training course and a downloadable guide on ‘Employing younger workers’ that should encourage a smooth transition into the workplace and help an employer provide the support a younger worker needs to quickly develop into a skilled and valued member of the team. Our joint guidance with the CIPD and Unionlearn on ‘Managing Future Talent’ highlights the steps that managers can take to provide practical guidance and support.
Employers may also find it useful to direct new recruits to Acas webpages which are designed for them. Our 'New to Work' guidance helps young employees navigate the first few months in the world of work. Providing an easy-to-understand breakdown of the typical rights and responsibilities at work, and useful tips on how to approach issues that may arise in the workplace.
For more information go to www.acas.org.uk/youngworkers
Tweet #newtowork @acasorguk @EEF_Economists
Verity Davidge, Head of Education & Skills Policy at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation has written a blog on the Acas website on why it's important employers are up to speed on the #newtowork guidance.