Many job seekers are not only constantly worrying about finding employment but are also worrying that the studying they did will not translate into paid work. To help the young job seeker finding themselves in a harsh job market what are the ways employers can help?
Have Open Days
Young people while in school may have chosen courses to study without realizing that after they graduate they may no longer love the field they studied. Or may come to the realization that they should not have dropped the courses they did. Come in, companies and open days.
Regular open days will allow young people to see how or where the knowledge they seek will fit and work for them in real life. They will show the current circumstances and the career options. Some options which may not have existed when they started their education. And which might open their eyes and give them some control of their study path.
As much as a business or institution encourages young people to follow them on social media. The reverse should be expected of them. Organizations should establish relationships with institutions of learning and keep abreast of what education the future employee is getting.
While they cannot change the curricula; organizations can give some guidance and some input so later upon graduation youths are armed with knowledge that can help them adapt their job seeking strategies. And help them pick the correct course to study. Which may later give them a fair chance of getting employed.
Have Youth Programs
Organizations have many ways to help the community and fulfill a company’s social responsibilities. They donate monies, sponsor community events, rehabilitate buildings etc. However, they can also address youth unemployment-by having youth programs. Programs that begin before students finish school.
As youths seeking a job usually find themselves up against a wall when it comes to proving experience. A relationship or work with a company some of the time while in school offers a viable and valuable solution. And they provide the contacts, the experience, and opportunities for youths to learn valued skills. Skills and experience which they can put down in their application letter!
Support Young Entrepreneurs
If successful entrepreneurs identify and support young entrepreneurs and if organizations buy and show- case their products and services- the mindset of expecting that after graduating one must seek a job can be broken. And as starting a business is a difficult endeavor, organizations that build a support system for young people will give them the impetus and courage to think about going the entrepreneurial way.
Support can be by providing seed money to youths who have exceptional business ideas. It can mean hiring like-minded youths into existing teams. Especially as youths, fresh out of school, need this the most.
Support can also be by successful entrepreneurs offering networking opportunities as well as forums that shine a light on their journey because the best teachers for our youths are other successful entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs that can inspire youths to forge a path of their own.
Think ‘Inside’ the Box
As most jobs are limited to urban areas youths are flocking to an already saturated urban center. But, youths should be encouraged to stay where they are and grow where they are. Think inside the box so to speak.
Organizations can help youth develop where they are. Yes, they may feel limited by the lack of infrastructure and utilities but they are surrounded by other things. Land, animals and local novelties (springs, falls, birds, landscapes etc…) inside their box are opportunities to carve out. Opportunities away from the urban settings and the ‘trends’.
Supporting and tapping into these local situations will help show youths that their environment and the skills they have developed thus far; can lead to work. Sometimes the youths in rural areas have skill sets that are not particularly useful in the urban setting but they have a set of skills nevertheless. They probably already know how to carve wood, to identify birds, to make traditional snacks and name wild trees and fruits? And probably speak two or more languages? Honing in on their skills, helping develop them, and encouraging them to seek employment in that specific knowledge area can create a pathway to earning a living.
A formal education is important but it is also important to learn how to make money doing what one is good at. Of course, most of this can only work if organizations in the community give support and if local businesses and entrepreneurs are supportive of youth by buying and using their services. Or by spreading the word. After all, we have become a small world as social media connects us to the best and brightest minds with one tweet. And so we can use these advances to create solutions to the growing youth unemployment.