Apprenticeships are the best way to invest in our young people who are leaving full-time education, providing them practical skills and experience. The problem facing businesses today is that these young people have not been taught basic life skills for gaining employment which, in my opinion, should be a compulsory part education for all 15 and 16-year-olds.
What most young people do not understand is that a potential employer is going to initially judge them on the CV and covering letter they receive. In such times of high youth unemployment, this initial contact is the key to getting an interview.
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My recent experience of CVs and cover letters have been one of frustration, I have received letters with bad spelling and grammar, only because the applicant has not asked anyone to read it through, there have been statements of "you will find no one better than me, so call me and tell me when I can start" and one applicant who stated that "you couldn't make me lose it" (I assume they meant their temper).
The government has rightfully pledged to create 100,000 apprentice roles but without investment in job-seeking skills prior to leaving school, these roles may not be filled as employers will reject a high percentage of candidates just based on their poor application. I recently received a letter from the department of education which states that it is up to schools what they teach their pupils.
For the most part, schools are teaching this generation about enterprise which should be encouraged but this should be taught alongside job seeking skills that encourage young people to have career options and ambition in the workplace as well as promoting the strengths of enterprise, thus providing a balanced view of work-life after education coupled with practical skills enabling employment or entrepreneurial investment.