Jobs Market Opens Up for Young People
It’s good news for apprentices and young people leaving school as more and more companies are looking to fill skills gaps in their workforces.
This is according to the latest research from the HR professional body CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) as part of their quarterly survey.
The CIPD surveyed almost 1,000 companies and found that, in response to recruitment difficulties, around 50% of these firms were looking into measures to boost the skills of their current workforce.
Half of these are planning to provide more training for their current staff, and a third are looking into taking on more apprentices.
Gerwyn Davies is a labour market analyst for the CIPD and explained that the tightening labour market was undoubtedly encouraging more companies to widen their recruitment range.
Mr Davies also pointed out that it could be a preemptive strike, in order to prevent labour shortages and pay pressures in the future, and make sustainable employment more available for young people.
The research also suggested that young people’s finances are finally improving. Unemployment among 16-25-year-olds has fallen from 22.5% to 15.9% since 2011, though it is still higher than the pre-crisis figure of 13.8%.
The proportion of young people who find jobs within three months of leaving education has also been rising sharply over the past year and is nearly at its pre-recession level.
In the OECD (countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), the UK has the second-highest level of over-qualification.
But if more employers get better at making the most of their employees’ skills, their own and the UK’s productivity will get a good boost.
“The underlying factor is that the jobs market is very strong,” Mr Davies explained. “That’s forcing more employers to look at a wider range of applicants.”
He added that the introduction of the new National Minimum Wage could further encourage employers to hire people below the age of 25.
“[This] could see young people reverse recent trends,” he concluded, “by becoming the new winners in a new era for the jobs market.”