Building employability with one to one mentoring

Building employability with one to one mentoring

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

As lockdown eases and we begin to return to some sort of normality, the jobs landscape is one area of life that is going to remain tough for some time. Many talented young people, in particular, are faced with a devastating lack of job opportunities, just as they are setting out on their working careers.

But if I can offer one glimmer of light, it is how business leaders are rallying to the call for help.

Despite the challenges confronting many employers, it is not without concern for the impact the pandemic has brought upon the young workforce. No one wants to see a generation lost or ‘scarred’, for years to come.

I was delighted that so many of Hand Picked’s network of employers have stepped forward recently, reaching out to us to ask about our schools and academy programmes. It shows a real commitment to the task of supporting school leavers learning the right skills for future employment and remaining positive.

So, while it may not seem that there is much that can be achieved on a grand scale at the moment, a lot can still be put in place at a grassroots or local level. 

With that in mind, we are building our mentoring programme, with one-to-one support for summer school leavers. Beginning first with former pupils of Lochgelly High School, we will be offering individual help with CV writing and job seeking. In addition, we will be inviting business people from our network to provide advice, guidance and motivation to keep young people on track.

Moreover, our core employer-sponsored work placements become more important than ever. A 90-day paid job to help a young person learn the expectations of the workplace and take that experience to their next job interview will be invaluable over the coming months. With no obligation on the business beyond the 12-week placement, these experiences will be a key way for businesses to provide meaningful help.

The coronavirus crisis has strengthened our resolve that young people need a business-led approach to employability. The pandemic will have created many more challenges for school and college leavers looking for work which we believe can be tackled by businesses, government, local authorities and schools coming together with a consistent and single-minded approach to help.

The Government has set aside £50m for youth employment, with the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery putting forward proposals for a Scottish jobs guarantee scheme. Everything is welcome but while national plans are being drawn up, local initiatives are already underway and if you can help us now, please get in touch.