This week is National Careers Week, a celebration of careers support for young people leaving education and moving into the world of work.
The importance of good careers advice is critical to ensure young people understand the full range of opportunities that are available to them and employers have a crucial role to play in this. There are two careers related statistics I read recently which have stayed with me:
- Young people ‘have to see it, to be it’ when considering their career options; and
- Just four encounters with an employer makes a young person 86% less likely to become disengaged from employment, education or training.
As part of National Careers Week, I would encourage all employers to think about how they can support careers education. Based on our own experience, it doesn’t require lots of time but can be hugely rewarding both for the young people you connect with and for your own business. It is incredibly easy and rewarding for employers to engage with young people via programmes supported by the government.
One of the fantastic recent innovations for young people has been the development of the National Citizen Service (NCS). NCS is England’s biggest youth programme, through which young people aged 15-17 get to broaden their horizons and see what they’re really capable of by participating in a range of fun activities and then undertaking social action projects in their local community.
I am incredibly proud that Reed in Partnership delivers NCS in the East and the South West of England. Through meeting with our delivery staff and young people taking part, I have seen at first hand the transformative impact that the programme has on young people. Rosie, 17, from Norwich, was one of our NCS Graduates last year. She said:
“I was spending loads of time alone and not leaving my house very much before doing NCS. I am now on the Regional Youth Board and I’ve made so many friends. I also led my team on our social action project and I have become a leader. I have now got all the qualities I never thought I would have. I have grown as a person”
There are some great ways for employers to support these young people – supporting social action projects, providing talks or visits and by offering work experience to NCS graduates.
One of the other programmes Reed in Partnership delivers on behalf of the Careers & Enterprise Company and Team London is the London Enterprise Adviser Network. Through this programme we connect businesses with schools and colleges to create a network of business volunteers, called Enterprise Advisers. The Enterprise Advisers work with schools and young people to ensure they are aware of all the career pathways and opportunities available to them. We are already working in over 100 schools in London and this will grow to over 300 by the end of this year.
We recently published our own research showing the benefits that employers can realise by supporting careers education. REED’s findings based on our work with over 11,000 young people and over 30 employers showed that engagement in schools was an effective way of increasing workforce diversity, showcasing apprenticeship opportunities, increasing social mobility and developing a pipeline of prospective recruits. Many of the employers found that their own employees both enjoyed and gained valuable new skills by spending time with young people.
So, for any employers reading this, please do get in touch with Reed in Partnership, the National Citizen Service or the Careers & Education Company about how you can play your part in ensuring young people understand the range of opportunities available to them.
For more information on how to get involved please email Reed in Partnership’s Head of Communications & Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org