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Posted By YE UK, 10 February 2017
Updated: 03 February 2017

What are the challenges facing today's young people looking for employment?


For the last 12 years youth unemployment has been at some of the highest levels on record, and according to the most recent research from the Princes Trust a third of young people (36 per cent) do not feel in control of their job prospects. However, research produced by High Fliers identifies that graduate employers are committed to their employment programmes, many identifying a growth in recruitment with sectors unable to fulfil the demand for skills.

Tuition fees are rising and the changing world of Apprenticeships means that there is more choice and uncertainty for young people. In 2016 there was a 13% decrease in the number of young people applying for University. There are some fantastic opportunities available, but many young people have not had the support or inspiration to understand how to take advantage of the opportunities available to them. Careers advice and guidance is patchy in schools and in FE and HE settings.

Young people seem more invested in the type of company they work for, focusing on its culture and the opportunities available than salary and brand appeal. Just as many young people are invested in volunteering and social action, being involved in something that does social good is of growing importance to this generation. Those young people who take up work experience placements, volunteer and can balance academia and personal development have a wealth of options.

Providing support to young people today is complex with huge rises in mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. It is important to get to know young people individually and ensure that support is tailored to empower them to take control of their futures.

Some facts about the graduate employment space

High Fliers Research Limited produced a report in 2016 that provided a comprehensive view of the graduate employment space. The research found that;

  • The country’s top employers plan to expand their graduate recruitment by a further 7.5% in 2016, the fourth consecutive year that graduate vacancies have increased.
  • The biggest growth in vacancies is expected at public sector organisations, banking & finance employers, engineering & industrial companies and the Armed Forces which together intend to recruit over 1,300 extra graduates in 2016.
  • Recruiters have confirmed that 32% of this year’s entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations, either through paid internships, industrial placements or vacation work.
  • Almost half the recruiters who took part in the research repeated their warnings from previous years – that graduates who have had no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for their organisations’ graduate programmes.

The research finds that the graduate landscape is good and that graduates who have balanced academia, work experience and invested in their self-development and networks are in a strong position.

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