Employers have a responsibility to ensure that young people’s first experiences of work are positive, writes Buckinghamshire Business First's Managing Director Philippa Batting.
What was your first experience of the workplace? Perhaps it was working in a shop, a bar, an office or a call centre, or perhaps it was via an apprenticeship or vocational course that took you right into the heart of an industry such as plumbing or upholstery.
Right now, young people all across Buckinghamshire are looking to make their first step into the workplace and it’s important that this first step leaves them with a positive impression of work. It’s ideal that everyone pursues a career doing something they love, but one bad early experience of work can throw people’s life plans off course in a way that is entirely avoidable.
So think back to your first time at work. Was it a positive or negative experience? Did you learn a lot either way? Were the people you worked with supportive, or were you left to fend for yourself?
Employers' great responsibility
Employers have a great responsibility when it comes to employing and training young people. Great in respect of the size of the challenge; to prepare young people for the years ahead and help mould them into skilled and passionate individuals. Great too in respect of this being a rewarding experience for the employer; taking on someone who is inexperienced but full of potential, and nurturing that potential for the benefit of the individual, the business and the wider community.
So the next time you hire a young person, whether it is their first experience of the workplace or not, try to do everything possible to ensure that their experience is a positive and worthwhile one.
We all have a role to play in inspiring the young
This responsibility for training and employing young people doesn’t just fall on employers of course. Parents, teachers, guardians, friends, relatives, neighbours…we all have a chance to be an inspiration to a young person we know. The latest International Youth Day took place on August 12th, and although the theme of “Transforming education” focused on how youth education can play a role in the prevention of conflict and eradicating poverty worldwide, we can also look at the theme from the perspective of our local businesses and young people.
Buckinghamshire Business First works closely with the Buckinghamshire Skills Hub, which promotes and optimises links between employers and educators in order to enable young people to become more work ready through greater employer involvement with schools, ensuring students gain the right skills for local growth sectors.
Meet young people eager to learn and work
One of the highlights of the Skills Hub’s year is the Buckinghamshire Skills Show, which this year takes place on October 18th and 19th in Aylesbury. The Skills Show is the largest skills-related event in Buckinghamshire and brings businesses and young people together to help the latter discover different industry sectors and ask questions about career pathways. Sectors represented by businesses on the day will include: creative industries; engineering, technology and manufacturing; life sciences, health and social care; business; retail, hospitality and leisure; public services; space industries; and construction.
Book a free ticket to the Bucks Skills Show
So, if there is a secondary school-age student anywhere in your orbit, the Bucks Skills Show is one event they should not miss. Tell them all about it and send them to the event page to book free tickets: wannabebucks.org/bucks-skills-show.