Young people failing to match expectation of employers

Despite businesses placing a heavy emphasis on relevant work experience, a quarter of young people do not possess the contacts necessary to secure placements or internships.

Employers and young people are ‘failing to understand each other’ – that is the conclusion drawn from a new study by employment matchmaking social network Wozedu.

In a survey of 200 young people alongside 200 SME HR and recruitment managers, Wozedu finds that employers rarely attend careers fairs or work closely with schools and further education institutions – this despite those entering the workforce using each as a source of career knowledge.

Some 35 per cent gather career information from universities or locations of learning, while only one fifth of businesses attend job fairs and 23 per cent work with educators.

Wozedu’s research also finds that under a fifth of young people are able to find the requisite information for prospective jobs using the internet.

A skills and qualifications mismatch has been identified, making communication and hiring harder. Employers place people skills (32 per cent), technology skills (24 per cent) and work experience (38 per cent) as the three most important factors for a candidate – while those seeking jobs believe a 2:1 degree (48 per cent) and A Levels (34 per cent) are more relevant.

Wozedu CEO and founder Oliver Donovan believes there is a ‘desperate need’ for more open and valuable communication between young people and employers.

‘Youth unemployment stands at more than three quarters of a million as of August 2014, and many people in work feel ill-equipped or unhappy,’ Donovan adds.

‘There is a real urgency to eradicate career misconceptions and encourage close relationships between the two groups.’

Young people looking for work are also finding it hard to access the sought-after work experience many employers are after due to a lack of contacts. Without this help, Wozedu says, they will continue to ‘fall short’ of employer’s expectations.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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