Employers and recruiters are being urged to support education leavers this World Youth Skills Day 2020, many who face employment uncertainty in a global economy that is reeling from the impact of COVID-19.
The annual celebration of global emerging talent – an initiative run by the United Nations – aims to combat youth unemployment internationally. Currently, around one in five young people are NEET: Not in Employment, Education or Training, with COVID-19 set to exacerbate this issue.
According to international talent acquisition and management firm Alexander Mann Solutions, employers and recruiters need to work together to offer greater support to emerging talent to not only help them find work, but also secure the future skills businesses need to thrive.
Impact of COVID-19
Jane Clark, Global Head of Emerging Talent Consulting at Alexander Mann Solutions, explains: “There’s no doubt that times are tough for organisations worldwide now, but we can’t forget that it’s difficult for our critical talent pools too. The likes of education leavers are facing a real challenge trying to seek employment and training in a COVID-19 environment. But this talent pool will ultimately play a significant role in the future success of companies worldwide, and what we all do today to support the hiring and up-skilling of these individuals, will define how successful our businesses can be in the future.
“Without the training and development that’s available through the likes of graduate programmes and internships, companies will quickly find themselves facing a dearth of talented individuals to drive growth.
“As we celebrate World Youth Skills Day, I urge employers to consider what more they can do to support this crucial talent pool and refrain from cutting back on investment into the future workforce.”
Developing core skills
Young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and continuously exposed to lower quality of jobs, greater labour market inequalities, and longer and more insecure school-to-work transition. With inequalities only exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, skills training provides greater development opportunities for young people.
But there are things that young people can do to ensure they have the necessary skills to attract employers during and beyond the economic downturn.
Commenting on the importance of World Youth Skills Day, Agata Nowakowska, VP EMEA at Skillsoft: “With a lack of summer jobs and industry internships available during the current pandemic, young people should really be considering how they can make the most of their spare time and develop some new skills, and online learning is ideal for this. Setting aside 20 minutes to focus on sharpening your skills in areas such as leadership, time management, creativity and innovation, will reset your equilibrium and ease your return to work or university as usual feeling positive, prepared and motivated. Skillsoft, for example, is providing free learning materials to help people through this crisis, as well as helping them build leadership and time management skills.”
Nowakowska continued: “Many organisations understand that by encouraging personal development and providing opportunities to learn a new skill, employees are more positive and engaged, they also recognise and value those who accept responsibility for their own development. Taking on your own personal development will help make you a more attractive prospective employee and an agile learner. Agile learners are extremely valuable assets to employers.
“Using this time to rediscover your commitment to developing your own skills doesn’t have to end when things return to normal post-pandemic. While we might not have time to sit down and digest an entire book or course, we can always spare a few minutes to watch a quick inspirational video, or to read a summary of the latest business book. If we can create good learning habits right now, it will stand us in good stead to be able to carry them through into the future.”