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July 2013

July 2013

Youth EMPLOYMENT UK A youth employment magazine for everyone

Class of 2013 Leav- Spotlight on a Sector: Hospitality ing University Guild

Is Education Prepar- 60 second interview success ing Us for Work?

w w w. yeu k . org . u k

CONTENTS Editor’s Note p3 Why Youth Unemployment Isn’t The Main Issue p4 ‘2.1 from Oxford doesn’t get you as far as it used to’ p5 BBC Three Advert p6 Class of 2013 Leaving University p7 The State of Graduate (Un)Employment in the UK 2013 p8 60 Second Inter view Success p9 5 Things You Can Do To Help Yourself p10 -11 Fran Daly’s review of Out of the Dark p12 YEUK infographic p13 Spotlight on a Sector: Hospitality Guild p14 - p15 Graduate Inter view p16 Youth unemployment Poster p17 Ambassador Bio p18 - p19 Giving Back is Good for Your Soul and Bottom-line p20 Is Education Preparing Us for Work? p21 Nicola Kirby- Apprentice Inter view p22 Baltic Flyer p23

Where to Go for Careers Information p24-p25

Baltic Training Become a Youth Employment UK champion p26-27 Our Manifesto p28 Future-First advert p29 Feeding Britain’s Future p30-31 Calling All 16-24 Year Old’s p32-33 Next Edition p34 Events Page p35




L ast

week saw the release of the latest youth unemployment figures; according to the government, youth unemployment was down 20,000 against the previous qtr. and 59,000 down on this time last year. But these figures are based on March to May and as such do not include this summer’s school, college or University leavers, it also shows that there are still 959,000 young people NEET and that is simply too many. As our campaigning and membership grows, we will continue to champion young people and businesses, making sure that your voices are heard above all the noise that comes with this issue. It is a real pleasure to tell you that the Youth Friendly badge is gaining national momentum. The Youth Friendly badge is one of the most powerful responses to youth unemployment, not simply because there is no financial investment or expectation required. It also gives each of us the power to do one small thing to help tackle youth unemployment. For young people we now need YOU to become more active in your role to tackle youth unemployment,

we want you to read, share and support this e-magazine and join us as youth members so that you can make the difference you want to see. Hopefully you will find something of interest in this edition, which has once again been supported by our amazing youth ambassadors. Until next time, LJ Laura- Jane Rawlings


I think at the root level, the biggest problem facing young people in the UK is ideological. I can only speak from my experiences, but too often we are our biggest problem. Young people playing the victim, and being passive, rather than pro-active and hungry, is a big problem.

At Revolution Hive, we run a 5 week coaching programme called Jumpstarter, designed to do exactly this. Get young people seeking out solutions, to increase their performance & results and burst into employment.

I for one hate it when people continually badmouth our generation, however, I do believe that we need to take greater responsibility for ourselves as citizens and as individuals.

As another stream of graduates enter the jobs market this summer, they will face many of these same challenges. Being on Jobseeker’s allowance whilst moving back home with your parents is not easy. I’ve done it myself! But it doesn’t have to be that way for long.

For example, how can I talk about youth unemployment as an issue, when I am not pro-active enough to use the resources like free libraries with free internet and staff (paid to help), to find as many jobs in my area that I can apply for? Yes, the economic climate isn’t great, however, there are still things you can do.

Email us at to find out more.

I love the story of Employ Adam, a young man who wanted a job in advertising, so used his last £50 to buy a billboard and run an advertising campaign to get a job. He received 60 job offers and now works as a viral producer at KEO Digital. Perhaps it is not that simple, but this is the sort of attitude I believe in and try to cultivate in myself. The question is not what problems do I face as a young person? The question is really, what can I DO as a young person, to get to where I want to get to, be who I want to be and have what I want to have. The narrative needs to change from the problems we face (which places the focus on the external issues outside our control) to what we can do (a focus instead on what is By Keshav Bhatt, YEUK directly in our power). Ambassador www.revolu-


Name: Mx Reubs J Walsh BA (Oxon) Age: 22
 Degree studied at university: Physiological Sciences

 Brief history: I grew up in a single parent home without much money in a very wealthy area. My mother is disabled and I went to a comprehensive secondary school where the kids thought her disability - and mine - were amusing. I came out as queer in stages, beginning at age 14. I have Asperger’s and have always wanted to be a scientist as long as I can remember and I’ve pursued neuroscience in particular since I was 13. Are you currently employed? No
 How ‘youth friendly’ has your experience been when searching/applying for employment? Not very. It seems that the emphasis on experience does not include the types of experience that can be gained before completion of a degree, which rather raises the issue of how one is supposed to get a first job. I have had very serious work experience placements in neuro labs, the first one aged 14 and one of the later ones subsequently resulted in a publication in a well-regarded neuropsychology journal. However these don’t seem to be taken seriously, what with how I haven’t had any offers yet. 
Did you apply for any graduate schemes? Sort of. In academia, the graduate schemes are obviously mostly PhDs but you can’t do a PhD, certainly not a funded one, unless you have an MSc /are superhumanly brilliant and have a First and several publications. There are, however, research assistant jobs, and some of them explicitly invite applications from recent graduates on the promise of training, and I’ve applied to a couple of those. 
 How many schemes did you apply to? A couple. Of those you applied to, how many did you a) hear back from b) were successful at applying to? Haven’t heard back from any yet. 

Has the employment situation in the UK been a large factor in your decision to stay on in education? Not for me personally, since I really want to get into academia. However, I should say that all this ‘austerity’ nonsense has crippled huge swathes of academia and the third sector. I think some of the silliest things that have been cut is public funding to suicide prevention hotlines and HIV prevention initiatives. In both cases, the consequence of not providing the prevention is both far morally worse, and far more expensive to the public purse. So either austerity is backfiring and they’re willingly ignoring it, or the intention is to increase dependency on the NHS before selling it off to private companies in which they have a stake. Unfortunately, it would appear that there are a lot of the charities for whom I would be employable, that aren’t hiring because of these cuts. 
If/ when you continue on in education, how much do you think this will contribute to your employability?
 Well, for academia you moreorless HAVE to get a postgraduate education in order to progress, so enormously. I do worry about the way that one basically has to be employable to other areas and able to cope working in them, or independently wealthy, in order to get into academia. It doesn’t bode well for the future of academic thought and higher education in this country. UPDATE: REUBS HAS SINCE BEEN ACCEPTED TO COMPLETE AN MSC AT BIRKBECK, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON IN COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE AND NEUROPSYCHOLOGY, WHICH THEY INTEND TO FUND BY PROVIDING PRIVATE ONE-ON-ONE TUTORING.


In last month’s edition of YEUK’s EMagazine, I made the suggestion that our future school leavers will need greater confidence in the UK’s economy before they consider going to University (following the increase in tuition fees). Yearning for more, better, skilled jobs, and a higher percentage of graduates in graduate jobs, it seems that since my last article, employment in the UK seems to have finally produced some promising statistics for graduates!

leaving University According to High Fliers Research, graduate

Have I left it too late? Was I wrong to dedicate my time at University to studying? recruitment at Britain’s top 100 employers is now at its highest level for five years – with 4.6% The managing director of High Fliers Research, Martin Birchall, highlighted how much job more jobs for new graduates this year than in 2012. This is, undoubtedly, fantastic news for the hunting had become part of student life. ‘Class of 2013’ leaving University. Not only this, The study shows that before they leave univerbut many employers are also expected to expand sity, students will have submitted an average their graduate vacancies even further in 2014. of more than seven job applications each, the Such hopeful and exciting records do not, unfor- highest level found in 18 years of research into tunately, come without its limitations. the graduate jobs market. Within the graduate market this year, for every From my own experience at Uni, applying for vacant position, there are 46 applicants, on aver- jobs was always referred to by lecturers and age. The competition for individual graduate jobs careers speakers as being an afterthought to remains fierce. To go even further, the survey also University – “When you come to applying for warns that many organisations have already filled jobs…” I am sure that I was not alone when I all of their graduate posts for 2013! came to apply for work after my deadlines and That’s right – a large number of graduate jobs and schemes were filled even before graduation was in utter disbelief at learning that I would and, it seems in some cases, even before the final now be applying for 2014 – “the recruitment academic term for undergraduates! Now, we all process for 2013 has now closed”. know how time consuming and demanding job For any undergraduate readers, I would thereapplications can be, and so during my English fore like to encourage others to job hunt durcourse – prioritising my studies – I simply did ing University – incorporate it into your Uni not have the time to apply for work. experience and begin now! graduate jobs market.

Emily Handley, English Literature Graduate and YEUK ambassador


Second Interview   Success  

Find out  about  the  company  –  Google  them  -­‐  show  interest  

Look up  your  interviewer  on  LinkedIn  -­‐    You  may  have  an  interest  in   common  you  could  men>on   Make  eye  contact    -­‐  If  you  don’t  look  your  interviewer  in  the  eye   they  will  get  the  impression  you’re  ‘shiCy’      focus  on  the  bridge  of   their  nose  if  you  find  it  hard  to  make  full  eye  contact   Make  an  entrance  Over  half  of  the  impact  that  you  have  is  how  you   dress  and  act  as  you  walk  through  the  door.    Even  if  you  don’t  feel   confident,  fake  it  and  you’ll  instantly  look  more  confident.   At   the  aeppropriately   nd  of  the  interview   tell  them   you’d   really   like   job   dress   Dress   for  interview,   even   if  they   have   a  trhe   elaxed   code  they  s>ll  want  to  see  that  you’ve  taken  care  to  make  a  good   impression   Prepare  what  you  will  say  if  they  ask  the  most  common  ques>on  –   tell  me  about  yourself  

. . .


You th un em ploym ent is fea tur ing qui te rig ht wit hou t wo rk. Ap art fro m the un fai rne ss of a hu ge wa ste of tal ent ed , mo tiv ate d and res o sel ves or soc iet y. Ho we ver, the re are ple nty of exa mp les of pe app lica tio ns and suc ces sfu lly con vin cin g em im por tan ce bu t its mo re abo ut thi nk ing thr ou con tri bu te to the rol e the y are app lyi ng for a wh en ach iev ing job suc ces s can inc lud e


to help yourself b in achiev

1. Having the right attitude wh en you talk to an employer, knowing clearly what you are good at but also being prepared to learn and be willin g to be able to add value within that organisation 2. Think about how you co mmunicate with other people. If someon ed you want to convey to others and think about how you can best deliver it to the right person at 3. Be prepared to be proactive and adaptable. Many jobs will go through per iods work hard, be dependable, be proactive and wo rk your way up through an organisation buildin g

4. Demonstrate some passion. If you have not got an exact match in the skills an employer might be advertisin gf you may well be able to reference similar ski lls that demonstrate your adaptability develo ped th combined with enthusiasm for the company and doing the job will make you stand out to an in 5. Learn to be yourself. Fin ally, interview success will come as a result of l an interview. When you come out from behind your mask and let the interviewer see the aut he

Now you could be all of these things and still no t


get that next job but sooner or later yo

tly hig h in the new s age nd a at the mo me nt as 1 in 5 of our you ng peo ple un der 25 are fin din g the ms elv es in a sit uat ion tha t the y did not cre ate , in the cur ren t clim ate it is our cef ul peo ple wh o are not bei ng uti lise d and giv en the cha nce to con tri bu te for the m-

eop le ma kin g the bes t of the cur ren t sit uat ion , fin din g opp ort un itie s, pro du cin g goo d ployer s tha t the y are rig ht for the job . It’s not the ir exp eri enc e tha t’s alw ays of vit al ug h how the y can use the ir ski ll and hav ing the rig ht mi nd -se t tha t wil l ena ble the m to and the n dem ons tra tin g tha t to the rec rui ter. Th e dif fer enc e tha t ma kes the dif fer enc e

NGS you can do

become more successful ving employment

o invest time early in their career to a point

and beyond when you will

does not understand what you are saying, it’s not their fault. Take responsibility for the me ssage the right time where it is a little mundane and not particular ly exciting. It is then that you need to be prepar ed skills , knowledge and experience as you go

for hrough other types of work, volunteering or sport etc. that nterviewer letting go of who you think you need to be to get the job and just being as genuine as you can in entic person you really are you will really sta rt to capture their interest.

ou will be successful and you will find more opp

ortunities coming your way.

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard

than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenien t to everybody else.”

― Henry Ward Beecher


The search for employment can be a daunting one for any young person, but what opportunities are available if you’ve left education and a disadvantaged community is limiting your options?

Out of the Dark was set up by Jay and Jade Blades to support

young people in this position, providing them with practical skills and confidence to boost their employability. The social enterprise scheme in High Wycombe, a town famous for its furniture industry, teaches individuals how to restore old furniture into desirable pieces to sell to the public and local businesses. The scheme builds on the success of Street Dreams, which runs a variety of projects to improve the educational, social and life skills of young people and offers positive alternatives to crime and unemployment. Restoring furniture helps channel energy into a creative process and results in a unique item which can be sold and the profits are then reinvested into the scheme. Vintage furniture is a profitable product and the use of salvaged items means that furniture can be recycled in a sustainable way, which is becoming increasingly important in these environmentally conscious times. Aspiring designers volunteer to share their skills and knowledge with the young people and are rewarded with their unique designs becoming reality. The restoration process teaches design, organisation and marketing skills which are essential for full-time employment. Heal’s, the renowned furniture manufacturers, have even selected Out of the Dark as part of their Discovers 2013 range which champions new talent, whilst organisations such as Six Fitzroy Square in London have collaborated on projects. A lack of engagement can be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome when working with some young people, but providing them with training and applicable practical skills enables them to believe in themselves and their abilities.


Out of the Dark believe that everyone deserves the chance to succeed, they simply need the resources and support to fulfil their potential. The project has already proved its worth with the individuals finding full time employment, returning to education or becoming paid workers with Out of the Dark. Jade Blades, Out of the Dark’s co founder explains that the young people ‘see how a decrepit piece of furniture starts from a forgotten corner of High Wycombe, and ends up being treated like a celebrity in London. The message to young people is: you can also achieve this with your own life.’


Can you tell us a little about the Hospitality Guild, why did I start, what does it do?

Founded in 2012, the Hospitality Guild unites 23 of the leading hospitality associations and some of the

hospitality industry’s largest employers in a modern day guild dedicated to the development of hospitality. We know that hospitality is one of the fastest growing industries and most exciting places to work, and we want to make sure others know that too. That’s why earlier this year we created the Hospitality Guild web portal as a one stop shop for information on career options, training and development for individuals, training providers and employers. How big is the hospitality and tourism industry in the UK? The hospitality and tourism industry is pretty big! It accounts for more than 2 million jobs which is around 1 in 14 workers in the UK. The number of people working in the industry is still increasing; even in the economic downturn the hospitality and tourism industry continues to rise as others fall. What sort of careers are in the sector? People associate the industry with careers in restaurants and hotels, without realising there are opportunities within events, visitor attractions, gaming and much more! As well as the traditional chef and waitressing roles, there are careers as event co-ordinators, casino inspectors and operations managers. There are definitely a wide range of careers available and our career map is a fantastic way of getting to know what’s out there. What sort of qualifications and skills are needed? The great thing about the hospitality industry is the clear progression routes. Many people can start work in the industry with little experience and progress to management roles through on-the-job training. Whether or not you need a qualification will depend on your role, however there’s no doubt that formal training can improve your prospects. Our training guide can help you decide which courses or qualifications you need to enhance your career. There are certain skills employers feel are lacking in the current workforce, especially within customer handling. As good customer service is the key to excellent hospitality, it’s probably the most essential skill for a career in the industry. 14

What is the recruitment market like?

The sector advertises vacancies in large numbers and they are most commonly found in hotels, pubs, bars and nightclubs and restaurants. Many employers in hospitality are seeking entry-level workers who are willing to work part-time hours, but this shouldn’t put you off! Those starting in entry-level positions have plenty of opportunity to progress to management level – so a part-time job as a bar tender could lead to a bar manager position. Why is it a good sector to work in?

The hospitality and tourism industry offers a sociable and dynamic working life. If you don’t fancy a traditional 9 to 5 office job, a career in hospitality can give you that variety you need. It’s a unique career choice as many of the careers are public-facing and offer flexible working hours. What is the future like for the sector in terms of employment, opportunities and challenges?

By the year 2020 a total of 660,200 people are needed to join the workforce, so employment opportunities will still remain high. It’s predicted that there will be a demand for managers and those in entry-level positions, such as bar tenders and waiter/waitresses.

One of the main challenges that employees and workers face is the growing expectation for outstanding customer handling skills. As competition between businesses increase and more customers communicate about their experiences on social media, it’s very important for businesses to meet this need. This means employers are seeking candidates that can deliver this skill.

How can our readers find out more about the sector or the work you are doing to support people into the sector?

The Hospitality Guild web portal has an array of career tools to help individuals discover more about the sector and develop a career in hospitality and tourism. The career map showcases the opportunities in the sector and the personality test matches the user with their best suited job roles. If you’re looking to develop your career, you can search for job vacancies, find out what training is out there and join talent search – an online database that employers can search for. If you’re a training provider or employer and want to know what we can do for you, please visit the Hospitality Guild. 15

Name: Sophie Edelsten Age: 22 Degree Studied at University: (BA) Literae Humaniores (Classics) University Attended: Oxford

Brief Employment History: Part time work while at school and at university. While at university, I worked at Lords Cricket Ground as a steward for two of my summer vacations. I also did hospitality with Search recruitment agency, because of the flexibility involved and clerical work at our local medical practice. I am now working as a part time receptionist there over the summer while applying for full time employment. How “youth friendly” has your experience been when searching/applying for employment? As most of the jobs I have looked at thus far are aimed at graduates I would say very. Did you apply for any graduate schemes? Yes How many schemes did you apply to? 5 (currently) Of those you applied to, how many did you a) here back from – 2, b) were successful at applying to? 0 – although I am currently in the interview process for one of these. Has the employment situation in the UK been a large factor in your decision making post university? No At university, how much employment advice/guidance did you receive? Of the advice you received, if any, how useful do you feel this has been in equipping you for life after your degree? There are lots of places in which you can seek advice and guidance at Oxford regarding careers. There are termly careers events cards, which are put 16

into every finalist’s pigeon hole and upon which there are recruitment events and things like “CV writing” advice sessions practically every day. There is also the opportunity for one on one careers advice in every college and within certain colleges sometimes alumni come back and give talks on their careers as well. I would say it has been very useful in informing students what is out there. How useful have you found the information available when searching for schemes/ job opportunities? In some cases there is given a lot of information about what the company does and recruitment evenings have been invaluable tools to finding out more about the opportunities these schemes offer. In other cases, it can not be very clear and you are just sent to their website, which does not offer any more about the particular schemes they offer. For quite a lot of the schemes I applied to, because I had been president of our college ball, I was sent information directly asking me to apply to their scheme and these would be quite comprehensive. What changes do you think need to be made in order to make this information more accessible/ readily available? I think the Times guide to the top 100 graduate employers is a good start, but although these are the best there are many other schemes out there from a range of other sectors. There is a lot of information about grad schemes in law, banking, consultancy and accountancy but I would like to see some more for other sectors too, maybe then ranking the top 5 graduate employers in different areas. How many of the job opportunities you have seen are advertised through social media? 0 Have you ever participated in an unpaid internship? If not, would you? No. I had one lined up with the events team at the Oval Cricket Ground for this summer, which was agreed to in March. They then emailed me a month later saying “due to unforeseen circumstances” they could no longer offer it to me. After this experience I am a little sceptical about unpaid internships, but I would not necessarily say no to a similar opportunity. It would depend on my financial situation at the time. If you were a school leaver today, would you still make the decision to attend university in light of your experience? Yes definitely, as attending university was much more than just a way to get a good job for me.


Hi, I am Holly Motion, YEUK Ambassador, Youth Editor of YEUK Emag, English Literature Graduate and Intern, and this is my story of how a personal interest and desire to know more about youth unemployment turned into a fire in my belly and deep-seated desire to do something to make a difference, however slight. If you had asked me six months ago what youth employment meant to me, I would have said I think something needs to be done to help someone like me utilise the years of academia I have put myself through- financially and emotionally- to get that dream job, or indeed, any job. Now, I think I am much better informed and a lot better equipped to write this bio and tell you my thoughts about why you should, if you haven’t already, joined YEUK and been active in remedying this horrible and seemingly never-ending trend of youth unemployment in the UK.

My story: I grew up with passion and an opinion, which I’m sure many of those who know me well will confirm. It took me a while to decide what I could do with these traits, how best to channel what can often be unattractive and contemptible qualities into something worthwhile and rewarding. I worked hard at school, very hard from 16 onwards. I always missed out on things academically.. 11+: two marks off a pass. English piece of AS coursework: 3 marks off (the difference between first choice Uni and Safety choice. The nearly, but not quite. I haven’t been gifted chances, and the successes I have had were not sheer luck or right-place-right-time happenings. I have worked hard and this is beginning to pay off. It is disheartening to see others who know exactly what they want to do and have people in place to help them get that all-important “break” they need. At the point of writing this, one week to the day I received my diploma and First Class Honours, I can inform you that 7 months ago, I didn’t know what I wanted to do post- uni or have the first clue how to get into the industries I suspected I might want to “break into”.

I would urge you to look at those people you know and ask around about what it is their family and friends do, connections are often a lot closer than you think and they can often be invaluable- even at the risk of making a nuisance of yourself. Through doing this, I have secured a six-week paid internship at one of the major international newspapers in London, and that is not to say that I haven’t undertaken my fair share of unpaid work. In my experience, this is often something that we young people have to endure and make the most of, if it weren’t for my weeks unpaid experience at said newspaper ealrier this year, I wouldn’t be in the enviable position I currently find myself in. Contacts and networking are something I cannot emphasise enough. Getting yourself seen and speaking to any and everyone will pay rich dividends. Make yourself seen and heard.

YEUK: Many of the opportunities I have had would not have been possible were it not for my involvement with YEUK and exposure to Laura-Jane Rawlings. I have met people who are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about solving the youth unemployment issue in the UK, this passion has been infectious and has inspired me to do more and be active in spreading the word and helping others. I am a young person and being heavily involved in the designing and editing of this publication has been challenging, but incredibly rewarding. I admire Youth Employment UK and will continue to be involved, even if it is in a lesser capacity when I move on to my next venture.

What’s next: I start a fast-track journalism course in September and will once again pack up my belongings and fly the nest to become a student once more. I will again find myself in a classroom and hope that the £4000 fee will put me in good stead to find a salaried position come January. There are no guarantees and I need to work hard and impress at any and every opportunity.

Final Thoughts... It is not easy being a young person, now, nor has it ever been; as young people we face a vast amount of challenges and I honestly believe that if we work our hardest and make the most of every opportunity that comes our way and resource available to us, we will succeed. I have fought for what I have got and will continue to do so, I just ask that you do the same and do not feel dejected or defeated. Being young is something a lot of people envy, let’s show them why. Good luck and all the best, Holly

Do employers have a moral or financial responsibility to give youth a chance in the work place? It’s a question I guess Youth Employment UK tries to answer every day, particularly at a time when the country is in the depths of a long and painful recession, that may well get a lot worse before it starts to better. As someone who is part of a media company that employs over 600 people, I believe we have both a moral and economic interest in helping to reduce youth unemployment. Arguably, the high level of youth unemployment across the UK and Europe – it is up to 50% in Spain for example, is one of the great economic challenges facing the country. Finding solutions to this problem will help regenerate the economy for the longer term and provide a more stable base to society as a whole. From an economic perspective, the school and university leavers of today are the consumers and home owners and savers of the next generation, so the sooner we get as many of you as possible into the work place, the better it will be for my generation. Young people are aware no doubt of the demographics of this country, where we now have a growing number of people over the age of 65. Our country can only look after these retired people in their later years if we have a vibrant, productive, young work force creating surplus wealth to fund the elderly’s care. That’s the economic imperative to get young people in the work place, but I think there is a far simpler, more moral one.


I’m in middle age, with three children, one of whom is about to enter the job market after university. Thirty years ago I was lucky someone took a chance on me (I still wonder why looking back!) and it set me off on the career I have today. And I think, every employer should remember that someone somewhere took a chance on them as an individual when they were young. And just as someone gave them a chance, so we can repay that ‘debt’ by now giving a young person a chance. I hope and believe that someone will ultimately give my three children a chance if they work hard enough to look for an opening, and so if I can give another young person a chance then it will be a pleasure to do. Good luck to all of you looking for work. It will be hard, but never give up and believe in yourself, because at the end of the day desire to achieve you goal will win over exams and connections. Be proud to be young – sadly it doesn’t last long.

Lawrence Gosling, group editorial director of Incisive Media.

Aa Bb Cc Is education preparing us for work? As a graduate, it is a question that I have asked myself repeatedly over the last few weeks as I struggle to find work. As of today, I am a graduate who works part-time in retail, which I have done for four years now. Personally, I feel like my employment has prepared me more for full-time work than my education has. My degree has prepared me in some ways though, in terms of organisation and leadership skills and strengthened my ability to listen etc… but reading books hasn’t necessarily prepared me for the wider world of work! HR Magazine’s David Woods, “the education system needs to focus on preparing students for work.” He argues, that society needs to look at the ways in which the education system has failed and continues to fail to prepare students for work, saying that “a commitment to hard work, presentation and punctuality is more important than literacy and numeracy skills when firms fill entry level jobs.” I chose English Literature because it is quite an open subject and I didn’t want to limit myself to one career choice. Although I did enjoy reading English, I cannot help but wonder if choosing a more specific, career-focused degree would have been better in preparing me for work. It is the strange situation that we currently find ourselves in that many employers demand experience as well as education, practical as well as proof of academic aptitude. Such a demand suggests that education may not be as important in preparing us for work as it once was and that there has been a seismic shift that prefers work experience and work-ready skills in the applicants they are willing to consider. My TOP TIPS for those in a similar situation to myself would be: 1)GET work experience. (Sometimes easier said than done) This applies to people who opt to attend university and those who make the decision not to.


2)THINK clearly about the type of career you want. If you are unsure about the career path you wish to follow, I would suggest thinking carefully about the seemingly far off application to jobs three years later. Will it look more impressive to have studied a broad subject that supplies you with a number of skills, or focus on a course that is more career- specific and structured? You do not want to find yourself three years down the line with as vague a plan as the one you started with, and more debt to boot. 3)DO you really want to spend £30000 at university? Last year, university fees increased by 30% making one year’s tuition fees just shy of £9000. It is a lot of money and it is important to weigh up the benefits of actually going to university over the multitude of other options available to school leavers today. Scour the Internet and ask these decisive questions. Aidan Darrall, English Literature Graduate and YEUK Ambassador 21

How did you find the apprenticeship? How did you choose the apprenticeship you wanted to do? What experience/qualifications did you need? I was at college doing a BTEC but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as a career or job. Towards the end of my course I was looking for jobs and found the apprenticeship on my local connexions website. I have always been extremely organised and thought working in an office would be a good start and give me some good work experience. I did an Advanced Apprenticeship in Business and Administration starting in 2010. Originally, the post said the apprentice would be studying for NVQ Level 2, but I had already completed that NVQ the year before so I went on to the Advanced Apprenticeship Level 3 instead. I think the post asked for grade C or above in GCSE English Language and Mathematics. What was being an apprentice like, did it meet your expectations, what was a typical day and the study like, what was your employer like? I enjoyed being an apprentice. I liked the various tasks given. The other members of staff, both support staff and teaching staff, were very helpful and friendly. I was working in a friendly atmosphere. I did the course with Positive Outcomes and my personal adviser came to me at work at a suitable time for me. I could set the time frame for each piece of work- it was very flexible. The tasks and assignments were set around the work I was doing. I was working two days in reprographics printing, photocopying and sorting stationery for staff and the other three days I was in the office doing other administrative jobs, including covering on the 22

switchboard on reception. What were the best and worst bits? I thoroughly enjoyed my whole time as an apprentice. What has happened to you since you completed the apprenticeship? I managed to complete the apprenticeship in less than 6 months, rather than in one year that was the expected duration. After a year of working I was re-deployed to another department temporarily but after another year I was made permanent and am still working in the same role and company. What are your career plans now? Having this job has made me think more about what I would like to do with my life. I am still not totally sure what I would like to do as a career. I am looking around for jobs and other opportunities to help me to develop and get some more experience. However, I have been thinking and researching about gap years, as I would like to travel, learn languages, and do something totally different and experience the world. What advice would you give to someone thinking about an apprenticeship or their next steps after school? By doing an apprenticeship, you get the knowledge from the course and the experience and skills from the work. It’s a very good idea as you can get your foot in the door. You also get the skills for a specific job, but can also take the knowledge and skills to other jobs or your future career. I tried doing AS Levels but found out they weren’t for me. I did manage to achieve one A Level in German though. I went to a Further Education College after Year 12 to do two vocational courses. For those who are not as academic or prefer practical work, vocational courses and apprenticeships are really good places to start.


Where to go for Ca

Apprenticeships, Employment, University, College, what is next for you, an go for help? HERE is OUR GUIDE to some of the best careers advice & NEXT

Careers Information & Support


The National Careers Service is the government’s portal for all things Careers and Advice; you can connect with them online or talk to an advisor over the phone. You can browse over 750 different career profiles, check your skills, build a CV and much more - 0800 100 900 Youth Employment UK – Of course you can join our social media pages Facebook Twitter and Pinterest where we promote latest news, views, advice and opportunities. Be sure to also register to be a Youth Member as you will then get access to a load more resources and info.

Shaw Trust one of our main sponsors provides a host of employment services and training opportunities for individuals all across the UK, to find out what is available in your local area take a look at their website. We also like Careers Box a website packed with videos showing you the range of careers and opportunities on offer

Employm There are a number of Job Search websites tha ships to internships and graduate emplo

Universal Jo Future T Not going


areers Information

nd if you do not know where can you


resources for you


The obvious starting point is the National Apprenticeship Service you can find out more about apprenticeships, funding and search for vacancies and training providers near you.

University or College You can search for thousands of College or Universities through the UCAS website and Unistats

Enterprise Take a look at Princes Trust, or our friends at Rock Star Youth

ment at also advertise vacancies from apprenticeoyment, take a look at some of these:

obmatch Talent g to uni

Our list is NOT exhaustive and there are A LOT of resources, guides and services for young people. If you have not been able to get help from this list, let us know and we will put you in contact with a specific organisation. Or if you have been helped by an organisation not listed let us know and we will sign post to them too! 25

Youth Employment UK CIC is delighted to name its first business champion – Baltic Training Services Baltic Training, already . a member of Youth Em ployment UK CIC, has just qualified as a Youth Friendly Badge H older.



Baltic Training Services Managing Director will be writing to all of their supp port Baltic Training by sig liers and asking them to ning up to the free Youth supFriendly Badge. As part of their support of our work, they are go ing to signpost all of thei to our Youth Membershi r apprentices and young p and encourage them to people sign The Positive Youth free and young people re Charter. Youth members ceive a range of benefits: hip is • • • •

A chance to have their vo ices heard on youth em ployment debates and ac A copy of the monthly Yo tivities uth Employment NEW S e-magazine Access to our online reso urces, information, and signposting Competitions and muc h more….

Finally, Baltic has also co mmitted to signposting Youth Employment UK the Youth Friendly badg Membership and e to all of their employer contacts.

“We are delighted to w

elcome Baltic been extremely Training Servic supportive of o es as our first ur work and o Friendly Place YEUK Champ ur commitmen to work. Youth ion; they have t to making th unemploymen this summer’s e UK the most t is still a big pro School, Colleg Youth blem in the UK e and Universit a real and susta and we are yet y leavers to the inable differen to add mix. We must ce. That is wha w o rk t o to u gether to make r membership it’s great to hav and Youth Frie e their support ndly badge doe . Laura-Jane R s, so awlings


badge Gold Standard Youth Friendly e th ed ard aw be to d ase ple ry Baltic Training Services are ve l employment opportunities for rea ide ov pr ips esh tic en pr Ap c . Balti nised qualifications and the from Youth Employment UK og rec e, nc rie pe ex rk wo life l g to gain rea young people who are lookin chance of a sustainable career.

er a range of

off s: Baltic Training Services ite wr s, ice rv Se ing ain Tr c lti ting, to Customer Tony Hobbs, MD of Ba cial Media and Digital Marke

essional, So Apprenticeships, from IT Prof rmation for employers and fo in d an e vic ad er off e W n. ratio ture. Services or Business Administ g the right choice for their fu in ak m in le op pe g un yo t or parents who want to supp g young people and we in oy pl em to t en itm m m co a strate uth Our customers already demon and support the aims of the Yo ter ar Ch UK YE e th n sig to are happy to encourage them Friendly campaign.

en ge, there has be d a B ly d n e ri F uth orporate busiplied for the Yo C p a d n e a v a s h e ti rs ri e a y h lo th C emp viders, and You , more than 60 h ro c P n g u in la s in it ra e T c s, e Sin Local Authoriti Membership s. m e o . ss fr rs e e t n b n e m e m it m m ss com sine d to pport of our bu su e th isation dedicate n o n a d n rg e o p n e a d r e fo w , rt ppo fit organisation wcases your su o sh st a le t o As a not-for-pro n t bu t. luable benefits, unemploymen ies and opportu it n u rt o p p o ip fighting youth offers lots of va rsh are also sponso re e th d n 0 per month). a 0 r ,5 a 7 e 1 y > r e n p o 0 ti p .0 5 ri bsc arts from £7 e-magazine (su l a n o ti a Membership st n r u o ise in nities to advert

For more information about membership of Youth Employment UK CIC or the free Youth Friendly Badge please visit or email info@



It’s OUR MANIFESTO So, Youth Employment UK CIC is teaming up with Million Jobs Campaign to produce a Youth Employment Manifesto, to take to all of the political parties in preparation for their 2015 election manifestos. We want to put together a manifesto that reflects the views of young people, employers, training providers and educators. A manifesto with real solutions, that government should be listening too now and in preparation for the next election. What can be done to reduce youth unemployment? Do you have some ideas, is there a policy or piece of legislation that gets right on your nerves and right in the way of good stuff happening? We want to hear your views so that we can write a manifesto that reflects those of our audience that care about youth unemployment. Email us at or join in with the ideas on our LinkedIn or Facebook pages.




So what happens when the doors are open? Employers from the sector such as Baxters, Coca-Cola, Heinz, Muller and Tesco invite a number of young people to their stores, factories or warehouses for the day and provide those young people with a really interesting pre-employment experience. Typically the employer gives a talk about their organisation, how it operates and then offers a tour of the site (sometimes including a taster session or “have a go”) and then some time is spent talking about CV’s, Job Applications and Interviews so that the visitors leave understanding a little more about the careers and fabulous opportunities in the sector and also have had some really great employment coaching by an employer (who better?!) What successes did they have? From a survey last year: 99% of the young people involved said it was a good use of their time 98% of the young people said that they felt more confident about applying for work 80% of the companies involved are more inclined to take part in other youth employment initiatives And… A number of young people who stood out from the crowd were offered roles with their host organisation and at the launch we got to meet a number of those young people who are still employed and loving their role.


On the 12th of June I was invited to attend the laun research chari Feeding Britain’s Future aims to open doors of the country to come and experience what The Feeding Britain’s Future programme ran for th 10,000 training opport This year the ambitions for the programme are h tr

We spoke to John, who after leaving University had been unemployed for nearly two years, he attended an event held at Greencore and was offered a job there. Nearly a year on and he is on an apprenticeship in the Planning department at Greencore loving the role and the company. He told us that although he would never have considered a career in the food industry before, now he can’t think of anywhere better to work. Feeding Britain’s Future gave him an excellent platform for his career.

nch of Feeding Britain’s Future 2013, this is an initiative led by IGD (an independent ity for the food and consumer goods industry). food and consumer goods industry, inviting thousands of young people across the t the sector has to offer and gain some useful employment knowledge. he first time for a week in September 2012, the programme saw 70 companies offer tunities to young people across 700 locations in the UK. high; IGD is aiming to get more than 100 companies involved and offer even more raining opportunities than before.

Is it really a great sector to work in? Yes! The industry is the biggest UK private sector employer with more than 3.7 million people working in it! There are jobs in every type of field - retail, customer service, operational, manufacturing, production, management, HR, marketing, IT, finance, research and much more. There is room to grow; many of the employers have progression routes, from shop floor to top floor with training and qualifications close at hand. So ambition is welcome! Benefits make what you want of it, if you are career-focused and ready to make your mark, you can earn an amazing salary, travel and reach senior levels very quickly!

Even the MP’s are excited! Matthew Hancock MP, Minister for Skills said “This campaign offers a great opportunity for young people who want to work in food, but need help to get on the first rung of the ladder.” “It is fantastic that so many employers in the food industry are taking part. I would encourage even more businesses - across all sectors - to offer young people a chance with our new Traineeships programme, which is starting from August. Working with employers, we can help young people to bridge any skills gaps and give them the knowledge and inspiration to achieve their career goals.”What do we think at Youth Employment UK CIC? “IGD should be very proud of what they have achieved so far the case studies and testimonials are endless. The 2013 campaign is set to be bigger and better and Youth Employment UK CIC is very happy to support Feeding Britain’s Future, we think they are one Youth Friendly industry and would be happy to look at supporting all employers to achieve the national Youth Friendly badge.” Laura-Jane Rawlings So how do you get involved? IGD are working in partnership with Job Centre Plus so ask your advisor at your local centre about the September activities, you can also find more information at and follow the activities on twitter @fbf_Uk


Youth Employment UK is growing eve ry day, and we still have a lot to do! We have a number of Volunteer Youth Ambassadors who already support ou r work and now we are looking for even more help.

adors do? So what do our ambasswit hin their own networks

Positively promote and support YEUK lude – Social Media, CamGet involved in projects that may inc paigning, Events st of our ambassadors have written mo – e zin aga e-m the t por Sup • The magazine’s editor is a youth at least one piece for the e-magazine. ambassador! on and we try to use the skills of We have lots of different things going something they are most interestour ambassadors to match them up to field of interest. ed in, so they gain experience in their

• •

• • • • •


t UK? n e m y lo p m E th u o er with Y est issue faced by young people in the UK Why voluntotefig hting the bigg ers supporting ou

oy we are dedicated ing number of empl ow gr a h it w d te ec nn r circle we are really well co ce to network in ou an ch e th t ge ill w mpaign where you ca d an work so you ss ne si bu r of ou t you in the areas we will also suppor ence ork need to gain experi t help with your w ge n ca u yo so s rt employability expe we are careers and search work at the heart of our be to le op pe g un yo we really want



ing for? employment. We are park o lo e w e r a t a Wh s youth on for all thing

si spare and a pas ith; to e m ti e m so for some help w g in k o lo y Anyone with rl la ticu pment Website develo n Graphic Desig • g PR & Marketin • Events • Membership • istration • Admin the e-magazine r fo rt o p p u S • Writing & s Blogs and Vlog • •

ou give? as flexible as you y o d e m i t h c How mumitments, volunteering with us isor two a month to

hour and your com give about an rs o d a they are work ss a It is up to you st b il h m a w r u re o o f m o e a Som e a little need it to be. up to 20 hours line, some giv h n it o w s u st g o in m e rt o supp ives th tweeting and or probably g it d e r u o y ll o ct, H month or so. ing on a proje

Get In touch?

Keep an eye on specifi c

Email us at info@yeuk .org. uk with your CV All Youth Ambassador s have to become Yout

vacancies via our Face book Page

and Email telling us how you would like to be


h Employment UK m embers first, register at www.yeuk.


Running an event that aims to support youth unemployment? Let us know and we will share it here.

When Various Dates

20th July


A range of free courses – Football Coaching, Food Hygiene, Product Design Enterprise Rocks! Music & Markets

Who 16-25



http://www.futureversity. Tower Hamlets org/content/1593/Courses Greenwich




Rockstar Youth – Enterprise Incubator Rockstar Youth – Enterprise Incubator


www.womenswisdom. http://www.rockstaryouth.


8th August

Digital Jobs Fair

16+ getting-back-into-work/ digital-jobs-fair


22nd, 23rd, 27th & 30th August

Enterprise, CV & Interview workshops



13th September 20th July

International Youth Job Creation Summit Enterprise Rocks! Music & Markets

ALL http://enterpriserocks.


25th July 5th August





To have your event listed for free in the emagazine it needs to be free for 16 – 24 year olds to attend and aimed at helping them to gain new skills for work or to find work opportunities themselves. If you want to advertise your Open Days, have a larger event listing or advertise your organisation in general please see our advertising rate care. Please send your event details (including date, a brief description, location, target audience and how you may be contacted for further information) to Please note we accept no responsibility for the reliability or quality of the events listed and cannot publish any notices of cancellations of change of details. 34

To contact Youth Employment UK CIC Business & School membership: Volunteer Youth Ambassadors: To ask for an advertising rate card or to speak about magazine content: Visit:

Or Call: 08444 143101

The information contained in this e-Magazine is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Youth Employment UK CIC and guest editors/blog producers and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the e-Magazine or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in the magazine for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Any views expressed here are not necessarily endorsed by Youth Employment UK CIC, Youth Employment News, Inspire2Exceed, Advertisers, Webmaster or any individuals or organisations. Links outside of Youth Employment UK (external links) are provided for user convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favouring by Youth Employment UK. All articles on our site are copyrighted material by the authors to include any graphics that are included with them. Photographs are also copyrighted. If you, the reader, have any grievances with any material that is posted on this site, you are responsible for contacting the author in question. This disclaimer is subject to change without notice.


In our next issue How many MORE barriers?! • HOW TO use your own network to find work • Internships Vs Volunteering: It’s all in the wording • How partnership friendly really is the youth employment sector

Youth Unemployment is an issue for every young person in the UK and through our growing campaign you can get involved and help us make the UK more “Youth Friendly” If we can get thousands of young people to Step Up and sign the Positive Youth Charter we can show the UK that young people are invested in this issue and inspire employers and youth organisations to do the same. Join us at




YEUK Newsletter July 2013