For most people the holiday season is behind them and a new working year is getting underway. That’s particularly true for young people starting a new school, taking up their place at College or beginning the daunting challenge of a University degree course.
Thanks to the high quality of our local educational institutions doubtless many of them will emerge clutching certificates attesting to their academic achievements.
So why is it that a regular topic of conversion among business people is the difficulty in finding good staff ?
I think there is no shortage of people with paper qualifications, but they lack some crucial skills which experienced employers take for granted. How to turn up on time, dressed appropriately for the job, able to work as a member of a team, communicate properly and capable of getting on with people they may not necessarily like.
Bath College has led the way in ensuring their students are trained in being ready to enter the workplace by broadening their training beyond the limits of their course. Many schools and the Universities are also following suit.
But I don’t believe this is only the responsibility of the educational institutions. There is an obvious benefit for businesses in helping with the process by providing opportunities for young people to learn about the reality of what it means to have a job. That could mean offering a fully fledged, well planned period of work experience. Though it has to be conceded that comes with a cost attached and may not be easy for smaller business.
It could just as well mean a business person offering their services to help out by giving a talk about what they do and the sort of qualities they are looking for in their staff. Just being available to give young people an insight into the world of work and to get to understand the language could make all the difference when it comes to them finding a job and for a business to identify the best candidate for a vacancy.
There are a number of businesses who already take this responsibility very seriously and a lot of institutions who actively seek out people from the commercial world to add value to their educational work.
At the same time there are many companies who do not engage with any level of enthusiasm and some teachers who don’t make it easy for them to do so. Wouldn’t it be great if every business and every local educational institution worked harder at getting together to provide the crucial experience the next generation needs ? Everyone would benefit.