It is often reported that the UK has a talent crisis and those in the younger age bracket are particularly affected.
Young people want to showcase their talent, expand their knowledge, and make a living whilst doing so.
In research conducted by Avado, we found that in the next three months a staggering 12 million plus people are expected to leave their jobs and 54 per cent of these people are 16- to 24-year-olds.
Our career paths are often determined by the route taken immediately after leaving school.
Certain job opportunities strongly favour those with a university education, with many post-education work schemes favouring graduates. If you don’t have a university degree of a 2:1 or higher, then the likelihood of being considered for graduate schemes becomes far more challenging, creating an inaccessible career path for many.
Despite there being a diverse spectrum of ways for young people to enter the workplace through employer and government funded skills programmes, the communication of them in schools and public service marketing campaigns, is failing to cut through.
But this need not be the case. Organisations can invest in promoting and facilitating a broader range of work-ready programmes, particularly apprenticeships. The benefits are about improving productivity and business growth.
Our research has found that 26 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds said they would resign from their current jobs to gain more future-oriented skills, which organisations in this country desperately need to grow at scale. Creating equal and inclusive career pathways will also unveil a more diverse range of talent, which is currently being missed by some organisations.
The obsession with favouring new graduates often stems from the idea of ‘oven-ready’ talent, which is highly unrealistic in today’s workplace.
Too often, we’re hearing about a disconnect between the skills needed by industry and those gained through the university experience, which impacts both the graduate and their employer.
We have partnered with institutions like the University of Buckingham to collaborate using elements of their post-graduate programmes to originate degree apprenticeships. These types of programmes bring the best of both worlds – higher education off-the-job qualifications, alongside the ability to deploy learning in a working environment to the benefit of both employee and employer.
This is where apprenticeships solve the puzzle. The investment made by organisations through these schemes is adding value to all parties and helping close the skills gap.
By upskilling those already in jobs, or those who have not found their path through the narrow furrow of formal education, provides opportunities to fuel ambition and build skills.
Apprenticeships also offer equal opportunities to learn without the high financial investment that comes with a university education.
Adopting a more inclusive learning approach will allow the UK economy to adapt and grow. Continually upskilling the workforce of today with a modern approach not only prevents a “talent shortage” but offers innovation and excitement that will only breed economic success.