Not-for-profit recruitment programme aims to tackle youth unemployment

A new not-for-profit approach to recruitment, which aims to tackle youth unemployment across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire says it is looking to help both employers and the unemployed by delivering work experience.

Experience Works is run by the charity Groundwork Greater Nottingham and is designed to support anyone genuinely committed to but struggling to find work. All vacancies have a work trial period prior to employment.

The new service has been launched following the Young and Successful (YaS) project – a five-year youth unemployment initiative operating over the period 2014-2018, funded by the Big Lottery Fund to support getting 18-24 year olds that have been out of work for over a year into employment or further education.

Some 1,300 young people took part in the project in Nottinghamshire and key learnings from it have led Groundworks to the conclusion that on the job learning and training is actually more likely to help young people to get into and remain in employment compared with the traditional academic approach of training to attain five GCSEs.

Colin Bradley, head of partnerships at Groundwork Greater Nottingham, said: “The strongest collective indicators that a young person will secure employment are good levels of confidence, good levels of mental health and crucially, the fact that they have ever worked before. The traditional approach of helping those who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) is to give them more education, especially in the core subjects.

“However, whilst skills are an important aspect, our statistical analysis tells us that it is the very experience of having ever worked which is the strongest predictor of whether young people are able to secure and keep a new job.

“We want to help change the narrative and we do that by finding them work. Of course, with little experience in the jobs market, many young people lack the skills to find opportunities, let alone have the confidence and skills to sit interviews or compile CVs. We can help them here of course but the next logical step is to actually help them find a job. That’s where Experience Works comes in.”