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Who needs help with improving employability? CIPD target young jobseekers

by on March 28, 2014

The CIPD ‘Steps Ahead’ programme came to our attention this week. Launched as a pilot last summer, the mentoring initiative is designed to help young people ‘improve their employability skills and step closer to their first job’.

Young jobseekers (aged 18-24) are referred to the scheme by Jobcentre Plus. It offers them six one-to-one mentoring sessions to help them improve their employability, boost their confidence and find work. Most of the mentees have not worked before. The CIPD have plans to expand the geographic areas where the scheme is running over the course of this year. This has lead to a call for more HR professionals to volunteer as mentors. Esther McVey, minister for employment, has this week praised the those who already volunteer on the scheme.

In this CIPD editorial this week Katerina Rüdiger, head of skills and policy campaigns at the CIPD, is reported as saying that many young people “don’t know what is expected of them during the recruitment process” and that “one way to bridge that gap is to encourage those working in HR, who hold responsibility for the recruitment of new staff, to partner up with young jobseekers to help enlighten them about what employers look for.”

It’s interesting that the CIPD focus is on young people on the basis that they are seen to need to improve their employability or to lack knowledge of what’s expected of them in current recruitment processes.

I’d suggest that there are people of all ages for whom this is also the case. For example, those who have been in a particular job or industry for a long time and now find themselves unemployed and seeking work in new roles or sectors that maybe didn’t exist when they were last job hunting.

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